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The Summersmith

The Summersmith’s feet will detumesce, given a little patience; and for once patience is something she can apply in a paste.

It’s hot and it smells of tasteless breakfast. When she’s done tying cheesecloth she puts her feet up and cranks down the phenakistoscope. She peers through its baroque, flickering lens into her belly: he’s in there, all right, cramped and discouraged, shoulders struggling against the limits of her skin. His hands are always grasping. He doesn’t know it yet, but he longs for tools.

She eats raisins and soothes him. Soon, littlesmith. Ankles and genesis: all they take is time.