I answer texts 3 hours after the fact. The only love I’ve ever known how to receive is of the tough variety: the handprints, the yelling. Always the yelling. The marks faded long ago, out of sight, fossilized in mind.
Maury called and you are not the father! They are not your fingerprints. You ask, “How are you? When can I visit?” “Good. Never.”
You come anyway.
When you are here everything melts away. The coffee shop swallows us whole. The perfect amount of cream in the cup. The cake with your name on it: “Welcome Home.” The way life was meant to be before I pushed away, the way an Olympic swimmer somersaults into the wall feet-first and propels into space. I ran feet-first away from you, you whose love is of the good variety. My heart got tangled in the weeds. The coffee shop brews a new flavor. We keep coming back for more.