I am trying to convince my partner of ten years that it’s his time to carry a burden get the procedure that will save me from death, whether by explosion or clot these are just semantics when you’ve been, yourself, the one on the table dying. “Even if you weren’t with me, you still don’t want children, do you?” I ask but don’t say I do, I do. I can’t and I won’t but lord almighty, if there is a lord, don’t smite me down for the lie on my lips. Who, after all, will teach me how to be tender again how to be kind and to look: how to examine the small green inch worms drifting down from the maple, how to squish mud between toes and see elephants in clouds and good god, how to love; how to love? “It’s your turn, you need to carry some of this. It’s yours to bear too, not just mine.” There is nothing that isn’t mine and mine alone. This child that we won’t have. The child that I didn’t have but tried to make. Those children running in the sprinkler in our back lawn, mine—not mine. Not yours: hair not blonde and ratted in the back from fitful sleeps and fistfuls of righteous anger. I want you to get fixed but it’s me unfixed, unmothering, unlabored, labored by the labor of mothering my body in illness: in sickness and in death which we don’t, yet, haven’t, won’t pledge. But me, here, asking for this small mercy. It’s almost snowing. I’m a winter baby in a winter world. Keep these hands from cracking under the pressure on frozen soil. Keep these hands of mine from sowing.