for his mom (my grandmother) this Sunday.
So much love.
Dreamed Eva was putting small things in her mouth: little plastic tags from clothing, pieces of torn up paper, tiny Guatemalan worry dolls, rose petals. She was laying on a bed made only of things that could choke her. Then I held her and whispered no, but from the other room she cried, and so we both woke, and I nursed her and tried again to explain that time had shifted, that we were back in Brooklyn and Mykonos was worlds away, that we’d feel better soon; night will be night and day will be day. I’m not sure she believed me.
What’s under the sky, Eva, is the roof, and under the roof, the ceiling. At home, you stare at the ceiling fan for what seems like hours. I make tea or kiss your belly or cross out words I no longer want or put your toes to your nose, and still you stare at the fan, smiling, laughing, at me, the fan, me again. Yesterday, here in Rome, after seeing the bones of lions and boars excavated from the coliseum; after roaming the Forum; after visiting Ostia Antica and eating fresh pasta and drinking a bit of local wine from a tiny glass; after walking the wide marble floors of St. Peter’s, I took you from the carrier that you had snuggled in all day, and we stood in the Sistine Chapel. Above us, Michelangelo’s world, and I carried you in my arms as you stared up. Those are angels, I said, and, That’s God. See how he’s reaching his hand down to touch the man, and those are more angels. Under all that wild heavenly color, I wondered if you would ever find happiness in another ceiling again.
Heading to Rome. By Day 145, we’ll be in Greece. Feeling like a couple of really lucky birds…
It seems she’s discovered my hands. She takes one in her own two hands and spins it around, gnaws on the knuckle of my thumb then on her own thumb knuckle. These are mama’s hands, I tell her. One day you’ll get big and your Eva hands will be big like mama’s. I tell her all we can do with our hands: write poems and do dishes and wave, make snowballs and meatballs and touch waterfalls, and if you hook your thumbs like this, and spread your fingers wide, you can make a bird, I say. Pick flowers, say grace. I could go on for days; it’s as if I too have just discovered my hands.
The day I realize that yesterday was actually Day 136; yesterday, when an old student came by and I answered the door in my pajamas; yesterday, when the old student offered chocolate, and I thanked her–probably too profusely–then served her lukewarm tea because I hadn’t remembered to turn on the kettle. I thought it was because of the baby, she said, so I wouldn’t burn her.
We sat with our lukewarm tea and our foil-wrapped chocolates, and it struck me that this fiercely independent young woman, who’s just gotten into law school and wants to see even more of the world, was probably tacking on a few more years until the time she wants to have a baby. Had I remembered she was coming and slopped on some concealer, she might feel very differently. But it’s incredible, I kept telling her. Best thing I’ve ever done. And though I meant it with all my heart, she seemed suspicious. I guess that’s what it means to be 22. Ah 22…