By Emma Kushnirsky (‘22)

I put my everything into you.

She mouthed this, her words forming a bubble in front of her that disintegrated in a manner of seconds, letting its contents escape and dribble down her chin, to fall onto the baby that she looked down at.

The baby was soft and curved and new. It, it, was not yet a person, but a clean, silent thing. Crisp. Its tongue lay limply in its mouth, and when it yawned, pink gums peeped out. Maybe, maybe, she thought, teeth would come along as the world permeated its sweet skin. An imprint. Exprint? Outprint?

She also thought that maybe she only had one chance. That this thing (person) was it. She’d had a tangle inside of her. It was a very dense bundle that she carried along with her, deep set in her core. It was all liveliness and people-ness. She had coughed, stirred it, coughed, coughed (*cough*). Hacked and wracked her body to bring this thing up to the surface. Her self manifested, almost.

She could see the still eyes like half-moons, same as the nose and the mouth, and all the rest. A very fine dusting of hair.

Now she was she. She was an outline of herself on black asphalt.

The brightness had gone out from her eyes; it would not return. She was limp, utterly. She did not really think herself a person any longer. It had been torn from her, and she nearly struck the sweet thing in her arms, though she no longer had what was essential to really mourn what was lost. She was dust embodied. She. . . wasn’t. She had been unusually full, awe-inspiringly so.


She was a song

Running through a river valley


She, Asha.