when i look down into his foggy blue eyes, unfocused and unsettled, i will fall in love more deeply than i’d ever imagined possible.

there is a life in my arms, a person, courtesy of our entwined limbs and sticky-sweet nights under the sheets, and he is beautiful.

at first he cannot speak, but he tries. he tries, and i listen because all i ever craved was to be heard. the harsh gargles and the soft coos, a symphonic cacophony of the least meaningful morphemes are permanently etched into my palms.

you are loved, your mom will trace into them, reminding me. her caress grounds me, bringing my head back from the space whales among the clouds, with cotton candy pirates and peter rabbit, back home to you.

and it’s through the tales of little boys who live forever and shiny brass trumpet swans that i learn how to talk once more. it’s an art long forgotten by the world, but when you grasp my finger tightly in your tiny fist, i can see the yellow brick road winding behind us, and i know we’ll be going in the right direction.

but when you come home crying about how Santa Claus won’t come visit because we’re Jewish and does that mean you’ve been naughty all year because you really didn’t mean to drop Daisy in the toilet, you just thought she’d want to learn how to swim while you were because you’re both ducklings staring down the great unknown, i’ll kneel down on your level so you know i take you seriously.

when your teacher calls home, upset with me that you told another boy to fuck off for pushing your friend out of the swing, i’ll get angry, but not at you.

because i will teach you how to curse, how to use words to your advantage, to make people feel things the way you feel everything. i’ll teach you how to tell those motherfucking, goddamn assholes what’s what, and you’ll do it so fucking politely that they won’t know what’s hit them.

there will be an understanding between you and words, a silent song passed between my lips and the whispered i love you into your mothers neck.

because you’ll be my goddamn kid, and i’m going to teach you every fucking thing i can, because you are art, a piece of me, a piece of her, and a piece of the world that no one will diminish.


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