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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 4, December 2015

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Bill Gottlieb
Cobb, California, USA


Babying

I dropped a baby in my dream. My fiancée asks me if the baby is our relationship—and maybe it is. New love, new care; new responsibilities, new failures. I sometimes compared caring for my wife—dead of cancer 15 months ago—to caring for a helpless hybrid, an infant grandmother. My fiancée is the grandmother of an infant, and when I saw him for the first time a few weeks ago—one week old, helpless, perfect, his tiny fist clutching my finger as if it could give life—I knew I wouldn’t pick him up. What if I dropped him, killed him? What if my mistakes killed my wife—my neglect, my moments of inattention, her head bald as a baby’s as she was wheeled away by a stranger down a white hall? A gold ring is the shape of a hole a baby can fall down. Want to marry me, baby?

above
the house crows call
to me, not to me

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