At home, I place a light hand
on your left shoulder and
rock your tightly swaddled
body . I simulate the pace of my own heart
hoping it is still familiar to you.
You wail, with an edge of scream,
not asleep, not awake, but wishing
you were either.
You complain against
the in between state.

(“Fugue state” comes to mind
but you aren’t traveling to another town under a new name.
Perhaps I want this screaming
to belong to someone else.)

I try to empathize, to remember how

I, too,

want to cry
when awakened. But this effort at compassion
leads to a dead end, since it is you who wake me from
the bliss of sleep
and here you are waking yourself,
both times the culprit.

I’m reminded of driving with only half a mind,
forcing the clutch into the space between
second and third.

A grinding screech
flies across the ice glazed pavement.
I rock and drive,
working consciously to maintain
a constant speed and a straight trajectory to avoid
losing the semblance of control that I have.

Eyes registering your

cheeks again,

I let myself complain with you

against the in between state.

Mommy.  Professor.  Wife.  Writer.
The transitions grind.

Here by your crib,

I conciously

breathe

in time

as with

my heart.

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