For Elliot

June 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

From a distance she looks like a tadpole.  Like she’s not quite finished transforming.  I watch her swim. There is an ease about her.  Her eyes are patient, and her body is full.  The child she carries pushes its feet against her abdomen. He dances to the music of her weightlessness.  He too finds comfort in the safety of water.

 I remember when she was all boots and feathers.  When she was from neither Ohio nor DC.  I remember the way she looked at me, in my jean vest and thick black-framed glasses.  She would tell me later that I wasn’t born a sidekick, but rather a flower—compliment me on my odd sense of style, make me feel like some rare bird, perhaps even a blue heron.  We were both born of the ocean, she the water and I the wave.  I would come to adore her—copy her style, long earrings and tall boots. Always feathers and current.  My Elisabeth. 

 In time we would grown, both together and apart.  She would find the man she had never written about, and I would write our lives together so we would never be apart.  I would write Wendy and Betsy into the same story, holding hands and making paper cranes—because these are the women we will love forever.

 She will love a man, but never a boy—before you.  You are the unborn child of the woman with wings beneath her rib-cage.  The woman with beautiful orange scales and a tail not yet formed into legs.  You are Elliot.  The son of a woman who refuses to choose between the water and the sky.

 The woman is your mother. She is the most beautiful creature you will ever see.  Before you were born she imagined you inside her body.  She found you in the sand, under the water, and above the trees.  She climbed mountains wit you.  Rode bikes with you.  Before you were born your mother loved you. She waited with that same patient look, that same weightless body.  She played music for you. Danced next to blood red rocks for you.  She painted her belly and called to the gods of the summer solstice.  You were meant to be born.  Always and specifically what the planets intended.  Always the son born to common parents.  Always Elliot.  Son of the girl in the water. 

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