about dead babies

there is going to be a lot of talk about dead babies this month
although we don’t say “dead babies”

we say they were lost, passed away, became an angel — all sorts of sorry horseshit
— the truth is just too awful to articulate

just try to think about it

a dead baby emerges wrapped in warmth from the womb
but quickly turns bitterly cold,
a dead baby’s skin transforms from a glowing pink
to a distorted blotchy blue and maroon,
a dead baby stares with closed swollen eyes,
begging for a chance at life with its grim and gaping mouth
a dead baby cannot be saved no matter what

but to the mom and dad cradling their disappearing dream
a dead baby still seems full of possibility
and is the loveliest, most precious sight they’ve ever seen

if you are still reading this, you probably learned something
about dead babies

i did not know any of these things, of course,
not until my own was resting softly on my chest
not until my arms were forever weighted down
by the absence of my sweet dead baby

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