Poems & Essays

17 Dec

The Son I Didn’t

General/Column No Response

Your voice is dried honeycomb,
delicate and reminiscent
of something thriving.

I hold you to my chest,
can smell your sweat
in the creases of your neck, 

your fat, flat feet kicking
my stomach after you’ve crawled
into bed with me, somewhere 

in the hazy glow of three a.m.,
head almost feverish, small
puffs of breath making even

sleep feel like exertion.
This is how I sometimes
imagine you, those times when

you appear as a ghost,
stark as newsprint, hair
always cowlicked and inexplicably red

like the reality, the slick of you
on my hand, coming away
from my crotch;

you will always be
more the blood of my body
than anything, barely 

a freckle of mass,
only existing as a spectre,
a pudgy hand on mine

pulling sharply away
when the little boy playing
beside my daughters at the playground

realizes he isn’t mine,
wanders off to find the legs
of his mother to hold.

 

 

 

Quinn Rennerfeldt earned her Bachelor’s in Creative Writing at the University of Colorado at Boulder and currently lives in San Francisco with her daughters, husband, and menagerie, though her heart belongs to Denver. Her work can be found in Slipstream, Cider Press Review, Bird’s Thumb, Sassafras, Progenitor, and BloodLotus, among others. Find her on twitter: @QuinnFairchild

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