you will have a son
You will have a son.
You’ll look into his dark midnight eyes and think of Nicaragua. San Juan del Sur. The pitch black ocean on New Year’s Eve where you spent the night dancing on its shores. You'll remember the slap of waves beneath your feet and the taste of salt on your lips as you smacked them together and sang goodbye to the last of the year. You'll remember the boy with the red car who dumped you months before, and the crisp white sheets you fell onto later that night thinking “never again.” How you wondered if one day it would all matter.
You’ll press your face into his balmy hair and inhale.
Feel his small beating body against yours as he nestles head onto chest. You’ll sigh when wiping milk from his raw newborn cheeks, and remember the quivering flan you devoured that first night in San Salvador. The ripe mango dripping from your chin after moving overseas at nineteen. You’ll picture that large suitcase you hauled out of the airport and into the unknown. The burning sun on the tips of your arms as you descended into the streets, and the uncertainty of leaving behind a life.
His smile will remind you of Honduras.
Those long winding roads of Santa Rosa—the ones lined with pine trees sprouting from distant hillsides, and lone cows grazing next to your Abuelita’s farm. You’ll recall the long green leaves covering her walkway. Her rooster’s sharp tenor in the mornings, his clucking and cawing during the day, and the small red dollop beneath his beak. You’ll see the guava tree you scraped your knee against while climbing up at age six—the tangy sweet fruit you plucked from its branches. Your Abuelita’s arms after climbing back down, and the rough wool of the blanket she wrapped you in.
He will have your eyes.
You’ll look deep into their pristine pools and see yourself at the end of them. You’ll see the prism beaches of Costa Rica and the jagged slopes of Maine. That lake in Guatemala you almost drowned in, and the red, burning rocks of Sedona. The thick fleshy stems of cacti jutting up on the sides of roads. Those large mountains you climbed and looked down from at thirteen, wondering if you could defy gravity.
You'll think of Manhattan at twenty-three, the heat of summer blazing over trees and towers, and the feel of it on your skin. You’ll remember how haunted and alive the city seemed under a deep blue sky, with its kaleidoscope of diverse peoples, foods and spices. How you wondered if this too could be a home.
You'll remember Barcelona at twenty-six. How you strolled La Rambla with a hummingbird in your chest, flitting, savagely inside. Remember the breeze that traveled and tugged at your dress to keep moving, walking—stepping down its secret, gothic streets. The citric scent of lemon oil and geranium drifting from perfumeries toward the city’s center. You'll recall the tanned young man selling roses who told you how “molt sexy” you were. How you laughed when he handed you one for free and pricked your thumb on one of its thorns. How you walked all over Spain with it.
You’ll remember the rose oil you bought in Haifa, and dotted beneath your wrists for good luck. Those golden domes dressed in Hebrew where you licked hummus from your fingertips. The heady earth you roamed for hours, and the whip of heels crushing wild flowers. How the petals wafted across Israel. You’ll remember the cherries you sucked along the Mediterranean, how you stared at their pitted flesh in your hands before tossing them into the Dead Sea. How you missed something you just couldn’t place.
You’ll hear your brother’s last words to you at twenty. That time he called your name in a dream, his soft raspy voice barely a whisper. And then the silence of a decade. You’ll remember wondering if you could ever birth another heart.
You will have a son.
You’ll listen to the cadence of his breath rising and falling in your arms, his small hands unfurling the knots in your chest.
You’ll remember Nicaragua. San Juan del Sur. The tide slamming back and forth against the sky. The tar colored night bleeding into the ocean. You’ll remember the boy with the red car who dumped you months before, and how you stumbled barefoot into the new year. How you wondered if one day it would all matter.
And how somehow, it did.
Cindy Lamothe is a biracial writer and expat currently living in Antigua, Guatemala with an international background in Journalism and Communications. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in diverse publications including The Atlantic, Quartz, The Washington Post, Literary Hub, Fiction Southeast, The Rumpus, and Guernica, among others.