Their presence, at first, an abstraction

then flutter, wriggle, squirm,

a burden both heavy and light.

After its own little lifetime we shed them,

through pain and blood and sweat

and only gradually do we come to realize that

we have been colonized.

I drive past the airport

every-other-Friday at 6:00

after leaving them with their father in the gas-station parking lot;

but they still seem to be there in the car with me

and I contemplate getting on a plane to somewhere,

whether they would slough off of me then

and trail behind as emotional vapor.

I realize that all of these little

lifetimes I hold in my memories

are merely that,

and merely mine,

not theirs,

and that it is I who will be shed;

their presence a shadow,

a stain along the edges

while my cells stage a revolution

and begin their fight for independence.

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