Katie Ebbitt

cradle song

hi funny, hi bedhead, hi baby, hi screen share, hi glow, hi

black wispy hair, hi unclean couch, hi unclean feet, hi little

one in the room, and little baby with mama, and we call one another precious because it’s a precious space, later there is

a bathtub and we are naked on new year’s eve, but right

now the state of undress is on the couch, the reflection of a

heavy glow, the glow that means some connection, but not

the kind we wanted, some forced unsettling, with baby, and

me, and the mess on the floor, the drawing with crayon, and

the phone always on, the light reflected on a grey little body,

and the adults all stared at the little one, little precious,

sometimes shared cold eggs, the coffee completely burnt but

very strong, hi glass of wine, hi love of my life, hi baby, hi

little one, hi dirty couch, hi white wall, hi phone call, hi baba,

hi gayness, hi wiped data, hi tired in the afternoon, little hat

with pale blue, little precious things for little precious people,

hi affairs that don’t work, bye innocence, hi wet diaper, hi overfilled trash, hi little foot, hi little face, little tummy is made very light by the blue, little nipple brown and very little, hard

to go to sleep with that light, the light not natural, an eerie

bright, but fatiguing, too, impulsive light, scientists look at the consequence of this brightness: say blue makes it so you

can’t sleep, the brain’s rhythms become undone, the

scientists took some scans and showed the blue light and

the brain lit up as if the brain were in love, the light makes us

all a bit anxious, sometimes the light is turned upside down,

or the light dies but then comes back. Your body is the same

as the arm of mama’s, always close by there is sticky on

your arms, sticky on your fingers and toes the bath is okay,

but the washcloth isn’t, the “nononono” we all sing together.

When baba calls the light is always stronger, but we don’t

like baba much. I tell you that mama wanted you so bad and

that I talked to mama and then you came because of the

talking i said, time to be together is bed, i cried when i woke

up, so did baby, and so did you, too we’re tired but in love!

maybe a bit of a headache because noise is bad, or it’s

allergies. A wriggle can be a dance, a back-and-forth shake.

Just little bits of sleep constantly, like a sleepwalk, a lullaby, i

sing a very slow tune, a gurgle, hanging around in dirty

sheets, baby sweet

Katie Ebbitt is a NYC-based poet and therapist. She is the author of Another Life (Counterpath Press, 2016), the chapbook Para Ana (Inpatient Press, 2019), and has contributed poetry to the anthology Rendering Unconscious (Trapart Books, 2019).