Couvade syndrome

By | 13 May 2024

For Inez and Frankie

As your nodes decide on legs, on arms,
and while your heart’s not yet enclosed, and your skin
translucent as those fishes’ pulsing bodies,
I develop backache, nausea – not quite phantoms,

but a song, measured against your mother’s
first morning sickness spew, on our house-sit
(she texted me congratulations – I smirked,
and wanted to be there with both of you)

the Friday after Father’s Day. Prolactin
swims milky in my blood, my testosterone
levels, studies suggest, are headed for the tiles.

Your brain starts now; your bones begin to knit;
your eyes are clusters, sealed-over, building patterns
to see worlds with, to be known by, and loved.

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