I mapped your progress in my mother’s yellowing book

With anxious half-breaths;

The way your soft spine chain-linked,

The tiny strawberry laces of cords and veins unrolling,

Countless nerves switching on

Like illuminations.

The globs of bones gluing and setting;

A lightening seed.

Knew when your fingers,

The size and softness of eyelashes,

Formed pinhead nails;

Knew when your fishbone lungs appeared;

When your eyes first unsealed.

Counted your Catherine wheel kicks.


Charlie Hall