The swell of her belly that has been progressively pushing us apart for the last 36 weeks approaches its fullest ripeness.

"Feel baby move," she asks with the easy lilt that marks this time of our intimacy.

"It is still," I whisper.

In the delivery theatre an obstetrician tells us that baby has died and must be delivered now before its body decays much more in utero.

We greet our child, resembling a blanched tomato, robed in his white gown.


first blessing —
the sign of the cross
tears his skin