AE Hines

After the Adoption

When my lover too is asleep, the wax moon
lies cradled in the black pines, swaddled light
streaming through our windows, and I creep
back to the baby. I check bedding

for loose blankets and ill-placed toys, see
that he sleeps flat on his back, still breathing.
Perhaps you too have done this?
Found yourself awake on the edge

of so much happiness you fear fate
might intervene. Which is to say
I am anxious when I touch my son’s pink lips
with my pinkie, feel the warm air

moving in and out of his body. And why
I watch for hours as shadow and moonlight
waver from forehead to his round
dimpled cheek. By morning,

I can write a master’s thesis on the filling
of tiny lungs, how the fluttering wings
expand and release, rise and fall,
over and over, with no help from me at all.