Each morning, while the rest of the world orders their lattes and updates their status reports, my mother returns to the womb.
She tucks her hair into a ponytail, and scrubs her hands until they tingle. Next, she rubs in the sanitizer, feeling the burn in each parched cuticle. The latex gloves seal the remaining world off with a single, practiced snap.
The doors whish; she enters. Pressing her face against each artificial womb, she greets the babies by name.
Keston. 29 weeks, 2 pounds. Intubated. Miranda. Group B Septis. Gregory. The surviving twin.
She holds their translucent, paper-thin fingers, and speaks of moon bounces, sunsets, and peppermint ice cream.
As she exits the hospital, she whispers each name, so the stars will hear them, and know that they were real.