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At Night

You’re curled up in the crook of my arms right now, your head nestled into my chest right where my own heart beats. Your breath is that loud and even breathing, of a deep sleep. Your tiny, clammy fingers are gripping the piece of my shirt that you’ve got bunched inside them. My cheek rests on your forehead, sticking to your sweaty baby skin. I can smell your shampoo.

Every night after you’ve fallen asleep, I take you out of your bed and put you here, on my chest, for a just little while. The rise and fall of your breathing is my safe space. I take it in just long enough to feel my soul calm, and then I place you back in your bed. You’re never the wiser.

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