Within days of my failure, Felix began to soften. His face, weak where I had taken too much, sank, folding into itself. Spots of purple mold erupted on his skin. I scrubbed at them with a cloth, but his skin sloughed off to reveal the greying meat underneath.

I had turned his body into a box he would not be held by. He had his mother’s spirit in him.

What had I contributed?

Soon there was nothing left of my son but a reeking mush that I gathered into a blanket. I wrapped him tight, my vision clouded with tears and guilt and terrible fear. I had lost what little my wife had left me. I meant to take Felix to the yard and bury him there, bury him in dirt so that he would share dirt with his mother and at least they might be together and she might do better by him than I ever could. I opened the door to the yard and fell to my knees before what I saw, and what I saw was many shoots and sprouts, many young vines growing up among the grass on the lawn.

And I saw what a harvest of futures my wife had provided for, how every time I put a knife to one of our children I would feel her hand on mine, and she would birth me endless opportunities to carve the legacy we were always meant to have.