At home, the baby might as well be in a museum, under glass, his perfect fingernails, how he smells of melon and flour, wrapped and wrapped in muslin until he is preserved. This is your job now. Look, you could be saying to visitors, at what has been saved! See his open mouth, how he uses all this room to breathe. You are the alarm, the resin, the final word on keeping him alive. You document, record, and wrap him again like the artifact you imagine him to be. You do everything right, and you lie when you don’t. Look, you say. Look.

Callista Buchen is the author of Look Look Look, forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press, and the chapbooks The Bloody Planet (Black Lawrence Press, 2015) and Double-Mouthed (dancing girl press, 2016). Her work appears in Harpur Palate, Puerto del Sol, Fourteen Hills, and many other journals, and she is the winner of the Langston Hughes Award and DIAGRAM’s essay contest. She teaches at Franklin College, where she advises the student literary journal and directs the visiting writers’ reading series.

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