>Here is an excerpt. The whole story is in Web Conjunctions:

The obstetrician was the first to notice. She held the head of the baby, asking the mother for one last push. Words slipped out of the birth canal attached to the baby’s skin along with cawl and amniotic fluid. The nurse held the baby up to the light to be sure, and the look in the physician’s eyes confirmed it. Words. One-syllables at first, sluggish as they dripped from the baby’s belly button, even after the umbilical cord was cut and secured; thin, transparent, and as liquid as spit. After only a few seconds of exposure to the sanitized air, the words dried up from the pink knot on the baby’s belly and took on a consistency like cotton, adhering stubbornly to the baby’s wet skin as if they’d had as much to do with her birth as biology and evolution. Though yet the words were in no language either the doctor or the nurse could recognize, they both felt it was unnecessary to worry the parents, nor to make waste of such absorbent matter as these stretchy, gauze-like words that seemed to string together in plush, nonsensical fluff around the baby’s fatty legs, lulling the innocent thing into a deep and comfortable sleep. And there was the baby, washed clean of placenta, red still from the effort of breathing, her cheeks pink, her hands little fists, and her feet kicking at the threads of syllables which spun gently around her tiny toes, vowels growing as if encouraged by the baby’s mewls into wispy, soft tufts, so that the baby’s skin was swathed in a colorless fuzz. The mother held the phrase-trussed baby to her breast. The baby looked into her mother’s eyes, opened her pink mouth and a word slid with her drool from the corner of her lip to her chin. It dried, and floated up with the waft of a fan on the tip of her mother’s nose, it’s width no larger than a cat’s hair. This made the baby smile.
“Sweet,” said the mother.
The father took a picture.

Published by laura

I'm the author of two short story collections, a story cycle, and a collection of short memoirs. I am an educator, literary translator, journal editor, and writing coach.

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