at the newborn’s first coos
and the delicious softness
of her peach fuzz hair against my cheek.
I am drunk on the smell
of sweet, sour milk
and so much life to live.
Your hair was fine.
A single lock was spared by the nurses
before your perfect puckered mouth
and round cheeks
were turned to ash.
My consolation prize
was taped to ugly paper
with an uninspired border
that was haphazardly off-center.
Why does she get a lifetime
of smoothing sleep-dampened hair
and frilly bows
but I am left with 37 taped strands
and a tear-stained box of cinders?
I didn’t spill a single tear
on her pink and wriggling infant.
I saved them all for the desperate ride home
camouflaging jagged, jealous thoughts
and raw eyes behind unnecessary sunglasses.