by Daniel Romo

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 and 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.