perseids

by theuglyearring

Dearest M,

Before you were born, I dreamed you would arrive during the perseids shower. Like a flailing meteorite breaking through the earth’s atmosphere with a trail of dust and 130-year-old memories, you would land softly on our backyard lawn. Instead, you arrived during a sky of blue, on a warm summer day, long before the locusts broke into their ritual,  monk-like hum.

The first image was sunlight. The first sound was a cello.

Why is it the first face of a newborn is that of the dead?

Mother’s heat, breast, heart for you, purple lips and fingers.

Tomorrow you will be one.

Five teeth.

Little lizard queen.

Long arms and legs.

Barnacle.

Whale calf.

Guardian of the backyard beetles.

Your sister and I sat on the bamboo mat with a blanket and two pillows, gazing up into the sky. We didn’t see them fall last year but last night they arrived. You, tired, wrestled in your father’s arms (and cried in mine).

The train comes nightly. You listen to the whistle as he points to the sky. “Stars.”

You point to the sky, too.

It’s the first one I see. A brilliant tail streaks across the sky.

“Did you see it?”

They say most meteoroids are destroyed when they enter the atmosphere, and only 500 meteorites ever make it to land (and only five or six are ever found).

Cosmic dust.

Shooting star.

Fireball.

Tomorrow, you will be one.

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