Green Onions.

by Serge Bielanko

I look at the forecast, at the 7-day, and I see the different weather that might be blowing around outside when my son gets born. Snowflakes. Rain pissing down out of a cloud. Numbers, high temps, hovering around 40.

I look past the weatherman talking. I look through him, really.

I look through him and through the television and the wall behind it and out through the trees beside the house, and straight through the mountains hovering over there. I push my eyes through the pine trees way out on the high ridges and press them against the visible sky like you might press your fingers through some plastic wrap in the kitchen, just to watch it stretch, then give. I keep pushing until the sky breaks apart and all of my focus goes gushing through the holes I've made; knotholes in the firmament, so I can push my eyeball against the fence and watch the action from far away.

No one knows who comes next.

No one ever had any clue who would arrive eventually. And no one ever will.

Whole galaxies get whipped up in mama's good guts and there is no telling whether he's gonna want pancakes on the morning of his first day of school or what book he might end up reading up in the jet the first time he flies over the rough dark sea. Down in there, mama's hot gravy seeps into his veins and rolls up into his tiny heart and then out again, rollercoastering life all up and down his world.

His lungs are birthday ballons with just one or two weak puffs in them, but someday they could be the same lungs huffing and puffing as he rounds second base in a playoff game or chases a purse snatcher down Broadway, dodging taxis and stuff. Maybe he'll use them to sing songs on stages. Stranger things have happened.

His fingers are just soft twigs, tickling across the inside of her belly when he does his little dance down in the darkness. But someday before long, those fingers are gonna wrap around the hand of someone he met in Algebra or at the mall or somewhere, and he's going to squeeze them tight to that other hand and he's gonna feel that zip through his chest: that same bolt of lightning that I have felt in my life, and that you have probably known too.

Those feet kicking out against his mama's insides, someday those feet might parade him down the halls of some great university or through the wild bustle of an African market. Or they might jog him across the terminal, to grab ahold of his old man from behind, and surprise him with a saw-ya-first squeeze.

I hope his little eyes are rested now. Because pretty soon he's gonna be shooting out into the lights that don't stop until the end. Hospital lights over your sweet new face and headlights coming around the corner to pick you up at 7 in the evening on a Friday night and the neon lights of Manhattan and the flashing lights of the cop pulling you over. The lights on Christmas trees sparkling off the glassy blinks of someone he's falling in love with down the road.

It's been hard to focus for me lately. Everyday things I get to doing, it seems like someone else is doing them and I'm just watching over a shoulder.

Every other second I wonder about who we're gonna meet, who we're gonna get to love.

I stand in the kitchen cutting green onions on an old bamboo board, Violet scurrying around the linoleum at my feet, your mama paging through the celebrity magazines and eating melted cheese.

I hear you saying things in your small voice before you even own it. Nonsense words and coos and stuff.

I'm cooking food and opening bottles of wine out here, little man. I'm cooking food and popping corks and clinking dishes down in the sink, but really: I'm looking at you/staring at you from a galaxy away; every second sparking off the sides of our battered spaceships as we keep barrelling at each other, closer and closer and closer.