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“motherhood, huh?” —because it’s easier than finding the exact balance i’m looking for, to make it hold all the mush of motherly affection in a neat container, a cool container if i’m lucky, to make it true and tender and torturous, or, to say it plainer, to hold it like i held a handful of rag-wrapped ice cubes to the fresh cleft on the crown of my son’s head, soaking blood from his hair, to hold it like i held him and rocked him and remembered for him, the soft thing, the wounds he had conquered already—the baths too hot, the beds too high, the baby gates left open and every door and drawer in between—to reckon with myself like i’m God, his Creator, to be omnibenevolent and still have allowed this injury, to be omnipotent and still helpless to stanch a lace of tiny arteries on the scalp, to be omniscient and still not know how to make meaning out of moments metallic in their density, to be able to put to page the look we mothers give each other as we pass in public, the atomic screams of our home-kingdoms richoceting throughout what seems like the entire goddamn universe, the kind of screams that make your head bleed—to acknowledge, in a moment, all of this—a look that says, “motherhood, huh?”