Holding your new baby, you hurry through the night, away from the house, down to the bottom of the garden, to the old railway carriage. It’s well past time to introduce him to your family. Late summer throbs from the purple buddleia.
No one know how this freight carriage came to be here. The neighbors say it was already there when they moved in, and that was fifty years ago. Chances are it was hauled in before they built the wall on the north side, where the grimy apartments squat. How else could it have gotten here?
Your husband refused your invitation to explore it, declared it trash. He swears he’ll tear it down someday.
The path smells of flint, sharp and granular. You pull your baby closer. Moonlight glows behind his frothy dandelion head. The hot ridges of his ear brand you.
The wooden walls have buckled in your absence, collapsing over the car’s windowless haunches. The rusted wheels bite deeper into damp devil’s food earth. It’s tricky to climb into the cockeyed carriage, in this dark night. The sour metal strip across the bottom of the doorway scrapes your shins.
Your carriage friends stretch out wavy tendrils for the baby. You’ll both be safe here, they reassure you, sighing tenderly. It’s true that their veinless leaves are far stronger than they seem, and of course they always work together.
Your husband wouldn’t want you here, he wouldn’t have let you come. But he’s not home, just now.
You lie cradled on the green. Frayed silver clouds rush against the moon, suffocate the light, grate pewter across the sky. The baby’s happy, you can tell, nestled on the lush velvet moss. He breaths are like puffs of prayer and promise. Before you forget, you tuck away these pocket memories of glistening blood, luminous shells, and the copper inside his wrist.
You’re shy. These friends haven’t seen you since the baby came. Although they’ve seen your breasts before, anticipation ripples across the carriage as you let one breast free. You understand, it’s so much bigger now, bigger than even you’ve seen. Resting on your knees, almost giggling as you turn in a circle, offer a panoramic view.
Their gaze sets your blood to thrum. To help your baby suck, you lie back, pull him to you, unfurl the sizzling current of your milk.
Your friends murmur and confer. It’s time, it’s not safe to wait, you don’t know when he’ll be home. The moss clambers over you both, spreading as quickly as a stain, so softly that you barely feel it. Emerald cortexes swell and you hear the thousands, millions of spores explode.