I died before birth. My little lungs pleaded for my release. But the umbilical cord loved me too long; wouldn’t let go. I don’t remember much. Not the gagging, gasping. Only the shrieks of my mother. Today she’s a steadfast pillar of guilt. For my birthday she bakes an Angel Food Cake. Places it on my grave. She lights the candles but doesn’t blow them out. It would be a slap to his face. She’s convinced the Santa Anas are my premature breath, and I’m an infant ghost. Full-term breathing haunting her every October.
(Originally published here)