Too Young to Face the Dawn (preview) .pdf

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By Andrew DiPrinzio
Dear Eva,
You are crying now in your crib, which your father moved from our bedroom to the guest
room. He sleeps there with you because on your first morning home post-hospital, when you
cried, I went to the kitchen to fix your bottle and punched my hand through the foil lid. I cried
too and told your father to get you away from me.
It’s been two weeks since your birth. I can’t speak your name. I say, “It” is hungry. “It” is
tired. “It” is wet. I don’t want you near my breasts. At least I can write your name, Eva. I’ll keep
writing it. Eva. If this is a breakthrough, I’ll need to thank my psychologist who prescribed
writing you letters.
At your birth, my regular physician was in Barbados. An invader, some pompous
resident, checked my dilation with his index and middle fingers. His nails stretched against his
glove. “We’re still at four centimeters,” he said. We weren’t though. I didn’t want him to take the
moment from me. That’s when I remembered a sardonic memory from my adolescence I had
buried —the night I met the surfer Pharaoh Kal-Bassari. It spoiled any motherly jubilation, any
intimacy I could’ve felt for you.
In retrospect, since that night, I’ve sunk like a damaged ship; in a miserable ballet, a
vessel falling through the ocean of my consciousness. When that resident touched me, the
memory, which had for years rested on the seafloor of my subconscious bubbled to the surface. I
birthed a reminder of the most horrifying moment of my life.
Pharaoh Kal-Bassari molested me. I’m sure of it.

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