A Letter to the Dead Baby at the Bottom of My Neighbor’s Swimming Pool

A Letter to the Dead Baby at the Bottom of My Neighbor’s Swimming Pool

A Letter to the Dead Baby at the Bottom of My Neighbor’s Swimming Pool 1920 1049 Riley Baker

I haven’t been sleeping very well, Baby. It’s been a while since I’ve last held you. My left eye keeps twitching and at this point, I’m about ready to gouge it out, to risk getting all this gross shit inside as long as I don’t have to wear an eyepatch. Last Saturday, my mom and I watched Lady Bird and I fell in love with Sacramento again, a place I have never been to, never even been north of Colorado. Now, it is winter in Illinois and so I exist between reruns of old television shows and long hot baths I draw for myself as I sit and stare at the watery wallpaper of my childhood bathroom, try to ignore looking out the window at the forest-green tarp that covers the ground, covers the intrusive incision into the earth’s surface. I loved you before I even met you, Baby. I place pennies over my closed eyelids to bring me luck when I go to sleep. My mother leaves a notepad next to my coffee mug every morning. In case you get inspired, she writes at the top of the first sheet. Instead, I remember the red and white and blue sirens through the window, over the fence, glaring at us last August (they wanted to be remembered) and I think of you, eight minutes too late, I think I need some better darkness. On Thursday, I pass a store window and just like Marie Howe, I see the knot of my coat’s tie like a fist over a now-smooth stomach and I keep walking. I can only reap what I sow.

Header photograph © Sarah Huels.

Share This: