Monday, June 1

‘Well, The Moon is Broken’

MY NEICE WAS in her mother’s arms. She looked at me, her small cherubic face. ‘Do you want to go to your favourite uncle?’ She did not stop looking at me, seeing, perhaps, what no other saw. I could only be looked at by her without feeling uncomfortable. She made me feel like having a child of my own was not so bad.
I held my niece. She held my finger and held on to my shirt. She was so perfect. She had never committed a sin. She had this wonderful, sinless skin all over her that was soft and smelled so wonderful. There was all her beauty and I thought of another. And yet she held on to me. I stood there and smelled her and kissed her head over & over. I trembled, but I carried on kissing her head over & over. The soft strands of hair on her head got caught in my beard. I kissed her and kissed her, trying to cleanse myself. She did not know what I had done, or what I deserved, but she clung to me. I kissed her. I put my mouth to her soft skull, to breathe in. Let every breath I inhale go through her cleaning process. Like a maniac I stood there and morosely held my delicate niece while these other children gathered around to observe. The other children repulsed me so that I did not want to be near them. ‘Never grow up,’ I told my niece’s tiny ear.
I gave her back.

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