First Visions (Milk and Honey Revised First Chapter)

There are memories before Luc. My genesis was met with a remote future possibility: Doctor Hames found a loose knot in my umbilical chord when she delivered me. She christened me the miracle child.

Many visions remain: I carried them with me before I knew it, before I had clothes and scars to hide them under. Some memories give wings to my most fanciful thoughts. Others make it difficult to pull even the lightest, time-tattered duvet from my eyes when I face June’s early-rising morning star. These words are an exercise, an experiment inviting disparate, conflicting memories to dance, if only for a fleeting fragment of half-remembered time.

I knew my mother before I knew myself. My very first memory revolves solely around her. She there, wrapped in fleece: sunlight drenches our living-room blinds. I had the idea of an other, but wasn’t sure quite what it meant.

This memory, a vivid flash of a small living room filled with cascading sunlight, my mom and me recalls the tender moments between us just before the water broke and my sister screamed her way into this world.

I, clad in brand new over-alls with metallic clasps which compulsively came undone, look up as she hooks the right clip into its pair. The moment, still and perfect: only our words move onward, beckoning the snapshot into moving film.

I know this conversation, I know it well. When I close my eyes, I hear it; I summon those still, young spirits back to life.

“Mama, when is the baby coming?”

“Soon.”

“Is she a me or is she a you?”

“I don’t know. What do you think?”

The moment dies.

And silence, for the very first and very last time, silence. Memory ends there: a moment frozen in new denim.

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