Fatherhood as Just a Point of View by David Williamson

I button the snaps on Ollie’s onesie between his Pillsbury dough-roll thighs. He throws his legs skyward and catches his heels. I count his ten toes. I press the bottoms of his feet to my lips and breathe in the sweet, buttery smell. I puff out my face and smack my cheek with one foot, exploding the bubble in my mouth. Ollie squeals. All gums. I marvel at how his bones are like a young tree, still green with sap and youth.

Ollie gurgles. I pray to God that I might locate and eat up all the dark parts that will grow inside of him.

After Ollie is asleep, I find my wife on the living room floor. She watches Dexter on our laptop and eats Frosted Mini-Wheats out of a mixing bowl, and I think, How can you eat cereal at a time like this? Maybe I say it out loud because she looks at me, surprised

What is it? she gargles through a mouthful of cereal.

The milk runs over her, slips down her lip, makes a splash on her Fleetwood Mac t-shirt. She slurps, wipes her chin. I pass by her. I reach for the wall, something to hold me.

I don’t think I’ve thought this through, I say.

How do you think I feel? she asks.

I turn around. She holds the spoon up, pointing to something ahead of us. I imagine billions of progenies behind us. Squirming, traumatic successions that uncoil their bright tentacles and stretch blindly into the darkness. Each one after the other.

My wife uncrosses her legs. Moves closer to me. This is enough for now.

DAVID WILLIAMSON –– David is a writer living and working in Richmond, VA with his family and all their pets. His work has been published in BULL, X-R-A-Y, Maudlin House, HAD, and others. 

Art by CHRISTOPHER WOODS — Christopher is a writer and photographer who lives in Chappell Hill, Texas with his artist wife Linda and their Great Pyrenees, Milo. His photographs can be seen in his galleries: https://christopherwoods.zenfolio.com/f86150928; https://www.instagram.com/dreamwood77019/. His poetry chapbook, What Comes, What Goes, was published by Kelsay Books (kelsaybooks.com).