a modified zuihitsu
“Anencephaly happens if the upper part of the neural tube does not close all the way. This often results in a baby being born without the front part of the brain (forebrain) and the thinking and coordinating part of the brain (cerebrum). The remaining parts of the brain are often not covered by bone or skin”—the CDC
White is the loneliest carnation on a hospital door. Snow is a blanket, tucking the ground in goodnight.
After your stillbirth, my doctor warned me against the hot springs. I would be vulnerable to bacteria.
Skin is the largest organ of the human body. This is a trick question on exams. No one thinks of organs as external or as tearing so easily.
Seaweed sticks can be inserted to absorb moisture and widen an unready door.
I’d read What to Expect When You’re Expecting but was unprepared. With your eyes resting on top of your head, you would never be ready for this world.
Years before, I’d married in January during an ice storm. My handmade flower bouquet never arrived. After the ceremony, I-57 was shut down and left the wedding guests stranded.
The nurse on duty didn’t believe I was in labor. You arrived with only your father to hear my screams. You were already gone.
I drank sage tea and crushed cabbage leaves to my breasts to dry up my unneeded milk. I wanted to sleep in a snowdrift to ease the burn. Forever.
We visited Yellowstone just weeks after you died. We’d already planned it. You were there in the pauses. The silence.
I read signs and guidebooks. Dogs are not allowed at Mammoth Springs in Yellowstone. They run over the thin crust and fall through to the burning pools, and owners will follow.
I slid into a creek the day we got the diagnosis. Your father pulled me to the bank.
I wonder if he also dreams of your closed eyes, your small smile, or if he remembers you only before the nurses cleaned and wrapped you.
In Mammoth Springs, snow covered the wooden pathway. Even following behind your father, I had to feel my way across. The springs continually shift and open hot mouths to vent. Steam is the only warning.
White is a blank space waiting to be filled, a dress to be worn, a flower to place on a box.