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A few days after my daughter was born she passed the last stool of meconium, a viscous dark tar, olive-green, shaped like a flower, odorless, composed of what she digested in the womb: epithelial cells of her own intestine, lanugo, mucus, bile and of course amniotic fluid, the womb-water where she floated dreaming of God. Wiping her, I felt at first disgusted, as if I were cleaning up after my dog but then I remembered this is my daughter and this dark tar is her mother’s womb still clinging so it is sacred, the way soil clinging to the seed of a new shoot pushing out of the earth is sacred, the seed somehow understanding its joyful task. My new daughter laughed for the first time at the small pleasure of passing waste made pure by the loving hands of a man who suddenly thinks Holy Shit
From Nightjar by Michael Simms. Copyright 2021.