Fourteen ounces of life. A perfect form. All ten fingers, all ten toes. Skin the color of dark brown silk, glistening with the sheen of newness. I love him without the complications that history and words bring. To be honest, I love his beauty, which makes me feel so superficial and human. Even the tubes protruding from his every orifice and taped onto his limbs and chest do not detract from his magnificence. I meet him two months after he is born on the same day he dies, lying on top of my sister’s chest, listening to her heart beat.




Maria Ramos-Chertok is a writer, workshop leader and coach who facilitates The Butterfly Series, a writing and creative arts workshop for women who want to explore what’s next in their life journey. thebutterflyseries.com. She lives in the blue bubble of the San Francisco Bay Area. She is finalizing her debut novel, Rosie’s Blues, a story inspired by the experience of her mother opening their family home in Hackensack, New Jersey as a shelter for battered women and childrenShe is also working on her next book, Jobs: Life Lessons through Paystubs.