Ted Kehoe In her dreams, their baby lived. He was six, maybe eight months, raw-boned and heavy. He slept between them. Hana felt his heat in the small of her back. That was all. No smell of powder and saliva. No little congested baby breaths. No palsied reaching of little starfish hands. Hana would jerk awake only to find her husband beside her and that she had wet the bed. ``Try to relax,'' Paul said, slipping into his health-care professional voice. He spread a towel on her side of the mattress before putting on fresh sheets. ``We tuck this in here,'' he said, folding hospital corners, as if she didn't know how a bed was made. ``Paul,'' she said. ``Don't.'' He nodded and pursed his lips, but she heard him humming tonelessly. Just make sound was treatment's golden imperative. And she was soothed, though she hated that he wadded the crevice between mattress and box spring with bedding rather than lifting the mattress and sweeping the linen under. He changed his pajama pants last, a kidney-shaped stain hip to knee, his assurance that what she'd done wasn't disgusting or shameful. She sat on the toilet and dribbled, her
Prairie Schooner – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Oct 4, 2012
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