I Used to be Your Mama–The Infinity of Love

by Laura Lentz

I loved you. I mean I loved you. Do you understand how the clouds of our lives part to infinity and then our love is all it ever was and all it will ever be, while one of us (which one this time) walks out the door?

And then the dream of us in China, the giant steaming black cauldrons of noodles at the market, old women stirring as they have always stirred – and me with our son, and you leaving again, and then the rude awakening to morning on Kauai – and this PRESENT life.

And me standing in my home in the morning, thinking, China? I’ve never been attracted to anything Chinese, as I pour my coffee into an antique Chinese mug and walk past antique Chinese cabinets my books rest upon, to sit in the living room of a home built by a famous Chinese architect.

This is how infinity goes.

Infinity is me meeting my granddaughter twelve years in the future in a dream near the day of her conception, and three years later she sits in on the front steps, her     elbows on her knees, her chin in the palms of her hands and tells me she remembers tomorrow.

Me too, I say.

Infinity is her turning to my daughter in the kitchen at two years old and saying, I used to be your mama.

Infinity insists on being heard – the voice of infinity coming from the throat of a child who hasn’t forgotten yet. When my daughter says, while stirring something (the circle of the stirring going on forever, you see), no, honey, I’m YOUR mama, and Mika says, But I used to rock you to sleep and sing you a song.

Don’t forget your soul, Elizabeth’s seven-year-old daughter said, while Elizabeth was dropping hot dogs into boiling water.

And Zachary said to Julie at four years old I’m sad.

Why are you sad son?” Julie asked.

Because I’m starting to forget what I remembered when I first came here.

You see how it goes – how nothing ever ends, how when he kisses me goodbye, or stands in the driveway, in a long t-shirt, smiling, and I say, look at the moon, and he looks up as he has always looked up, as he will always look up, as I will always be there to remind him to look up, as I pass the ocean that has always been to my right or to my left, as it starts to rain and I open my mouth to the drops, open my mouth to the infinite water that never ends.

All I can do is laugh into the infinite, because love is infinite and these raindrops are not my tears. <3

Philip Brautigam
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