Your dad and I are trying to create you, and again this month you didn’t come. You are like the monarch that won’t alight on the rock for a photograph. No, you are like the fox I was almost sure I saw streaking through the fog. No, you are like, you are like.
I thought I’d try a different approach. I thought an affirmation might coax you, as I sometimes long to hear my name spoken aloud. “Amy Lynne,” my mother would say, three even syllables, when I told lies. “Aim,” from my college roommate, downy comfort of nickname. Your father, fan of simplicity, says only “Amy,” southern mouth stretched with vowel.
I want to speak you into being.
We let go when we die, but what agency exists in becoming? Sometimes I am so much my mother that I feel her past inside me, making me. I feel her becoming my mother.
Would it help to know you are already with me? When I am tired, you tell me to rub the dog’s white tummy. You tell me, when I step outside to retrieve the mail, to also sniff the falling leaves. Worry makes you hide, you say from deep within me. I think of you when I do not speed in my car, when I do not buy that pair of boots, when I do not and do not, and withhold myself from myself so I have all I can have to give you.
I want to speak you into being, but do not know which name to say.
For months after your great-grandmother died, I began every conversation with the fact of her death, needing her goneness to be acknowledged. Let me tell you again how she is gone. Now it is your not-yetness. I need to say again and again that you are not here.
Your dad and I don’t leave the house much lately, too bound are we in body-less love, too often do we talk in a household tongue that includes you. Your not-yetness is a strange non-grief to which we don’t feel entitled, but what to do while we wait for you to be? Watch-television-sleep-in-sunlit-afternoons-eat-dark-chocolate-squares-ignore-the-phone-grief-hope.
We feed the grumpy cat and sweep the checkered kitchen floor. We rearrange the too-tight bookshelves and preen the clothes in the too-full closet. We busy our hands. When we speak, we do so slowly, trying to enunciate.