Last week, before you put Baby David to bed, he wanted to stand at the dark window and point. You repeated, not knowing whether he knew the words: Yes street yes plane yes car yes light yes plane yes building yes light yes light yes yes yes light light light.
David wouldn’t leave the window; you had to carry him away. Close the curtain. Turn off the light.
Then you held him with his arms over your belly, his head on your breasts
as if you were a person he knew maybe even loved. And you sang to him. At first these were songs you knew (clementines, mockingbirds, stars, lambs, skip-to-my-lou). Faint things from childhood.
When those ran out, you sang the words inside your head. The names of people you loved.
Sophie, even Luisa. Sam Sam Sam. For some reason you kept singing David I promise you.
What promise? It occurred to you how frightened he was allowed to be. Leaving the world for the night with this strange bellied woman, singing half-songs and names. Astonishingly, David slept. Never cried.