On Cleaving

What I want to say is how much I love my son. My son.

Son and Sun. I revolve around both. The act of this, and the words themselves, feel right and true. It is no small thing. The moon however revolves around him and I.

Everyone asks how I am doing. I eat almond butter in the night and fall asleep on the daybed to the sound of country music playing next door and forget for a moment that I am a mother. I feel at any given moment a love so intense it borders on panic. I wonder everyday what I did in this life or the last to deserve what I now have.

I receive a newsletter from a writer I admire and within it is news of the stars and details about the upcoming full moon eclipse and the eclipse season we are about to enter. I did not even know eclipses had seasons. I suppose, everything does. I wonder if I will be awake to witness it. It seems lately I am always awake, and in the middle of the night there is a certain kind of silence I have come to treasure. Sometimes when the moon is full it makes moonglitter on the water like a path we could take if only we had time.

I have a tattoo on the inside of my right arm: moontalk and cinnamon milk. If I had to give this season a title, this would be it. I wonder if years ago when I got these words inked on my arm that I was then, always, moving toward right now.

Later I would like to be reminded of the small indents across his hands where knuckles will one day be, the smell of his small body near mine, the ache across my shoulders when I carry him in the night, the deep deep blue of his eyes, the sight of him against his fathers chest. I want to be reminded that we were here in the most impossibly small ways, we were here. And from here we will revolve outward, our lives slowly expanding beyond this room, beyond this view, beyond the smallest space where it is just the two of us.

Within the newsletter she says of the upcoming full moon eclipse: This sort of cleaving calls us into a new phase of being. The word cleave has two opposite meanings – either to stick together or to split apart.

I am stilled by the exactness of the word to describe him and I, how we are somehow both of these meanings at once. We have been split apart and yet we cling impossibly tight to one another, especially in the night.

One of the writing prompts within this newsletter is to write about the word Cleave. So I do.

I start this by saying: What I want to say is how much I love my son.

The newsletter I refer to here is by Kate Belew and I highly recommend signing up for it.

My tattoo on my right arm was written by one of my favorite poets, Tyler Barstow.

This picture was the last picture of us taken when we were still just one.

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