Mother, here’s what I need you to know: this is going to hurt. This is going to slip under your nail, black and blue its pink. You’ll breathe this in while you sleep, a knot, edgy and fibrous, that leaves hair-thin strips of me in your soup or your peanut butter. The part of the throat only reachable by a gag. You think I never was.
It was soon after they’d met. They hadn’t yet married, and Laura came to a Sunday match, sitting on the bleachers all afternoon at the outdoor pool. She’d waited outside the dressing rooms and he’d come out with wet hair, drops running down his neck, endorphins still pulsing from the win.