I am wide awake at 2 a.m., propping my head with one hand while I support her head with the other. She’s ravenous… as if she didn’t just eat two hours ago. But that’s how our nights go these days, every two hours for no less than 20 minutes, my neck and back muscles strain to meet her need, the rest of my body still asleep, as she nurses.
I am the fountain of youth.
I am the beautiful pirate Angelica, selflessly gifting my remaining years of life to my greedy, beloved daughter.
I am a victim to her vampire need for sustenance. My body, at once, her chalice and wine. Her palms press against me as if to force every last drop of my essence into her.
I am a human battery. Her appetite for my life force is insatiable. I give to her willingly and gratefully. And she grows healthier and more beautiful with each feeding.
She is my ancient mummy, her mouth open wide, igniting the transfer of my soul into her strengthening body.
As her tummy fills, her tiny fingers wrap around mine and she rests. Everything she is was once me. All she takes she replaces with unfaltering and exquisite love.
She returns to her crib; I trudge back to my bed. There is time for another hour of sleep before we start again.