his corkscrew curls glisten with sweat and adhere him
to my chest
the beating of my heart plays a lullaby only he can hear
and i run my fingers absently
through his hair.
his tiny bottom lip pokes out
his breath is no more than a whisper
i press my lips to his forehead
and hold him as he sleeps
i envelope him in love
and wish it were a tangible thing
to cloak him
to protect him from a world i didn’t predict.
did someone swap our staircase
for a treadmill when we weren’t looking?
am i standing in place
still standing in a space
where i have babies
but someone else decides if i can keep them?
sometimes it feels selfish
to offer up these children
to a world full of preconceived notions
that have nothing to do with
the lives they have touched
the sharpness of their minds
the contents of their hearts
but in a world ripe with hate
having these brown babies is an act of revolution
and raising them takes
i love my boy fiercely
in defiance of the fear that i feel
and silently send his sleeping mind
dreams of a bright future
that i dare to have faith in.