The first sensation
is a swell
in the space
behind the back of my tongue but before my
What is that space called?
on the other side of gagging?
I call it my crying space.
The space tears come from.
You thought crying started scientifically in some space
No way, Jose.
Crying starts as a lump —
there in that undefined on the anatomical map because it’s function is almost obsolete
like the appendix.
Except it functions still.
I know it because I try to make it stop sometimes and it won’t.
Nervous anxious I don’t want to talk to you right now cries
How could this happen I don’t understand it cries
My baby’s okay my baby’s ok my baby’s o.k. cries
And you …
you little one little new one little brand new life that just began first as an idea then as a mister mister then as a real live thing in the world as a lump in my throat cries.
You started in someone else’s belly but for me you start now as a lump in my throat trickling up through that space between my esophagus and the back of my tongue.
I breathe in relief and gratitude and respect for your mother.
(I also sigh a long sigh called MOTHERHOOD because this is what all mothers silently sigh the minute a new baby is born and all our collective memories swirl together in an almost scream.)
But then I stop.
You are you. Something new.
The lump, I swallowed it.
You are in my stomach now. In the space I hold allllllllll my love. All my love is there. So much. Too much. Old love. New love. If I could keep it all there I would but I can’t and it turns into lumps sometimes. But what’s there in my belly, all that love, keeps me alive and going and facing forward.
Love. New love.