Touching My Sleeping Baby's Fingers, I Feel I Could Write Instead

By Michael Wheaton

The arms of a pillow hold him still, and he pulls the silicone nipple always closer to him—so many things he wants or needs that I can never give him of me, until it falls from his lips, fingers falling slack, born with all ten thankfully, which will reach for so much they need to want, and I remember him inside his mother, curled, latched—so many things I can never give him of me, who was outside worried what could go wrong in the development of body, of brain, of code, and what it might cost in money, in grief, in stress for him I would like to say more than me, but he takes his breaths without obstruction, without machines or fees, far for now from want or need, especially of me.



Michael Wheaton is the publisher/editor of Autofocus, the host of its podcast The Lives of Writers, and a writer of his own whose work has appeared previously in Diagram, Hobart, Bending Genres, Burrow Press Review, and a few other online journals.


Art by Amy Wheaton.