She walks at dawn, the first to scar sand smoothed by the ocean, the first to mark the canvas with scalloped toe-prints, the first to see the sky dissolve, and the first to hear the songs of the wind.
She is tired, and so very close now. Her hand smooths over the dome of her unborn’s refuge, whispering to him love in its purest form, from the purest of places. She feels a kick of anger from within, and asks him why.
Come now, she says, stroking her belly again, this world was made for all men, in all of their forms, she tells him. He kicks again, harder this time, and a tiny fracture bejewels her heart.
She lies upon the magic stone, burnished and cooled by the waves of the moon. The cave is dark beyond black, quiet beyond silence.
And here she sleeps, and here she dreams, and here she will wait.
Awakened by the howling of wolves, she knows it is time. Through the portal of the cave’s entrance, she sees the moon; milky and full and bathed in the diaphanous silk of clouds.
The wolves’ cries dance on the wind; the wind dances with the sea. Waves, rising and falling: waves of rage, of calm, of life, and of death.
And so he is born.
He emerges from the cave to take his place in this world, to kick, to fight and to struggle, and to carry with him forever a part of his mother.
This piece first appeared with Zero Flash; placed third in the March 2016 competition.
The photograph is of a winter sunrise in Alonnisos