Mel Bosworth reads “What if I Told You I Lost the Baby Again,” by Christy Crutchfield.
What if I Told You I Lost the Baby Again
By Christy Crutchfield
Sorry I went on that walk. Sorry about leaving car doors and oatmeal pots unattended, plus never calling the baby a miracle. Sorry about the habañero incident with the baby, the wine stain on the baby. I’m owning up to it. All of it, plus losing the baby again.
I let Grandma take the baby to the portrait artist, but you can’t accuse me of knowing how realistic it would be, how lumpy with oil paint, or that she’d include the baby’s fat wrinkles, that we’d realize how uneven the baby’s head is. Neither of us could have known the artist would use the baby as her business card, thousands of lumpy babies left in coffee shops and yoga studios. If I find it again, it’s not like I don’t love the baby.
Don’t forget it was both our faults once, another walk through a hallway of trees. We held hands. We looked green eyes into gray and told each other what was beautiful.
Remember, we didn’t know the baby was missing until it rolled out from under that bush all sludgy, a leaf plastered to its forehead. You let it make a face print on your shirt, and I got mud on my lips comforting it. When we wiped the mud off its eyes, it blinked the green one, then the gray, and smiled at us for the first time.
Christy Crutchfield is an MFA candidate in the UMass Amherst Program for Poets and Writers, where she served as Editorial Assistant for Massachusetts Review. Publications appear in Mississippi Review, elimae, Duck & Herring Co. Pocket Field Guide, and NOÖ Journal. Visit Christy HERE.
John Madera is the author of Nervosities (Anti-Oedipus Press, 2024). His other fiction is published in Conjunctions, Salt Hill, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His nonfiction is published in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, New York State Council on the Arts awardee John Madera lives in New York City, Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.