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Before Air - Poetry Submission

It's not a baby. And it's not my politics
saying this, it's experience. A baby is
everyone's: grandma holds it, aunt
changes it, brother kisses it. But a
fetus does not breathe air, cannot live
on its own, and if it is anyone's other
that its own, it is mine, solely mine.
Perhaps you can't love a fetus, need it
to be a baby, an air breathing being that
looks like you. I need only to know it
is inside me, feel it pushing its way around
its tiny home. I love the almost baby because
it is not yet a baby. I love the fetus not
for its potential but for what it is right now.
Its own self, connected and separate. Mommy's
constant companion swimming without a name.

--Lisa Alden

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