A Belly Button Full of Gunk

A fig is a flower that blooms on the inside (hidden from view)

The only thing I allowed myself to buy before you were born was a 3 pack of plain white baby-grows off Amazon

We split them in two and shared the internal flower

And some plain white reusable towel nappies which did not get used.

When we were children my brother drew a picture of us all crawling underneath the fig tree to get into the back door of my grandparents house.

She said “it’s like you were pretending you weren’t pregnant”.

Picking the petals, it takes a precision to avoid the pricks

You snuffle and sniff

I belly laugh at the idea of being wrapped in those green needles.

You attempt to fold my belly back in

I breastfeed you for 731 days and nights

You eat pennywort

At one point I absorb, that in court, breastfeeding is not really deemed that important

You eat gorse

Someone else sucks my nipple and all I can think is obscure

You say butterflies sound like …

The song lyric goes “pink, like the inside of my baby”

We’ve been eating gorse again.

You tell me I am a Big-Bang-O-Saurus

I am sat on the futon and the chocolate makes me want to vomit

No, you are a Big-Bang-O-Saurus

I really want to get rid of the fucking futon

You smear lipstick all over your face

We drive to look at a sofa off facebook. It looked nice in the photos but its too small, or hard, or something I don’t remember now.

You lick my face. I learn I can ask you not to.

I lie in the lukewarm bath secretly finding out what size vegetable you are, feeling like I’ve got no-one to tell.

You snuggle in.

I am seven months pregnant and sea-sick. So sea-sick. And every time I throw up over the side of the boat I wet myself. I eat polos.

You say, after every sleep, that you dreamt about butterflies.

I eat a lot of fruit pastels

The butterflies are yellow.

I watch the mother and her baby guillemot bob around at sea. Sometimes our boat forces them underwater and I find myself desperately searching for them as they resurface, hoping they will still be together.

You jump off the stool while I am looking the other way

I submerge our whole body in the cold sea and for a brief second feel free/me

You say perchunk and golk and poo-punk

A line of raisins, some too big.

Back-to-back, faces facing the sky. Or a version of the sky in a room with no windows.

The futon has gone, recollection vague.

Cheering myself up doing cartwheels.

Unpicking stitches.

The licks have pretty much stopped. Instead, you insert your eyeball into the end of my nose and push.

You said you can’t wait to wear your new rainbow striped long-sleeved tee-shirt

I have two protruding moles on my neck. You scratch and stroke them when you are tired. I don’t like it, I like it.


Some nights, once you’ve gone to sleep, I use my nans multicoloured embroidery threads to repair the bag that carries your clothes, and nappies, and food. The bag we use when you are off to do your own thing.

Look! On the pavement. A triangle of sunshine.

Doo-datch. A-doot.

You cartwheel down the staircase, after I was looking the other way.

I sit in a cliché. I laugh it off.

We buy butterfly badges. Yours is yellow. Mine is yellow and black and green. The butterfly dreams are disappearing.

You watch the cartoon birds flying in unison and say “they are all mums”.

I towel myself off and the mica glitters on my skin

The troll has a belly button full of gunk

A gift, a sparkling necklace

And the belly buttons go back in time, and onwards.

Every flower is your favourite. Roll down the grass slope and you’ll find the tree we used to climb

We put a pinprick in the eggs and blew out their insides

I lay on the single bed trying to sleep, piggling at the foamy wallpaper

My nan kept one of the decorated eggs in her spare room for years.

You stick your fingernails into the dark red silicon that lines the low window of the doorway into our flat and I call you The Piggle Monster

“We did it!” You cheer.

We did it. We did it.