'My New Found Shape' by Michelle Matheson
I float; my presence unknown to her. I am no more than a soft ‘ta da’ drowned out above the drum of the shower. She is not conscious of me but I am with her all the same. A spark buried deep within.
As I grow, she feels my first gentle prodding’s, a stirring in the air. I am the scent of ash and roses. I am chocolate on the back of her tongue. She visits the vending machine at work, giving into her craving. But chocolate is not what she really needs.
In the bath, I press hard against her skin and mind. Submerged in water, she presses back, testing first this idea then that. Together we build the boundaries of this new relationship.
We grasp the pen; she thinks the idea is hers alone. This is not an easy birth. There is no sprint to the finish, no epidural to dull the pain. She mutters to herself, her fingers twist, making a bird’s nest of her hair.
I am caught in a vast swamp of frustration. She dawdles; multiple cups of tea go cold as she lingers on Twitter. My kick is the impetus that spurs her into action.
I arrive, an unlovely thing, slime encrusted and creased in all the wrong places. But the act of creation ensures her love.
She dresses me up, first this way and that. Each outfit is lovelier than the last. In the night she breathes words into my ear, they are absorbed into my flesh, plumping me up like a feather bolster. She settles me into a shape we are both happy with.
I am ready, but she does not see it. She paces and fusses. Changing a word here and a phrase there, only to change it back to the way it was. I yearn to get out, to rub up against the wrong kind of stories and test my new found shape in all the best literary magazines.
I wrench myself from her breast and break free. She has no choice but to let me go. We are both better for it.