How It’ll Happen

Whoever claims that childhood is a happy time, has never been a child

This is how it’ll happen. You’ll catch me peeking over some Penguin on public transit, gathering coins for the homeless who want to fly south for the winter too, and you’ll get off at the next stop. I’ll see your whispering prints erase themselves in the snow as soon as they come.

This is how it’ll happen. I’ll be in my inbox, considering that ‘90s email catchphrase and implanting forgiveness into requests from the prince of Nigeria, pills for impotence. It’ll be said and you’ll never read it.

This is how it’ll happen. I’ll dab mashed potatoes from your chin like you used to do from mine and hold up your bird elbow so you can touch my face. The bones that threaten your face’s skin will frighten me and you’ll put on a program. Program, not show.

This is how it’ll happen. I’ll be rewinding old VHS tapes and catch the time Dad alluded to eating you out later as you watched me scutter down metal slide. It’ll be partially taped over and I’ll stay tuned for a brief word from our sponsors.

This is how it’ll happen. I’ll break into the shack the neighbors kept the feral dogs in and wash up. Gather a little rabies foam and scrub it over the places where the light peeks through. I’ll see you through the cracks, but you won’t see me.

This is how it’ll happen. I’ll show up with the Halloween costumes that never were and we’ll trick or treat together, decades removed. I’ll change costume after each house and you’ll egg the bastards who slashed our tires that one summer when Dad double-parked.

This is how it’ll happen. I’ll be on the toilet swiping through my feed as they pull the tubes out. You’ll have glorious visions then, beautiful visions, and I’ll wonder why my internet’s so slow.

This is how it’ll happen. You’ll give me my answer right before you slip away and it’ll be a clean sweep. Presto change-o. I’ll see you through the foggy bubble world of tears and admire the pattern of the curtain the nurses have propped open because your skin could use the sun. Could’ve used.

This is how it’ll happen. I’ll sit down and guzzle some rooibos, use my teeth as leaf filter and write you as I remember. You’ll hate it and maybe even me, but it’ll be there where you aren’t.

This is how it’ll happen. I’ll bend down to earth with the little boy you never met and whisper things he can understand. He’ll wonder why he can’t go home and play and I’ll go to the ground. He’ll join me, his tinyfingers tracing whispering prints that erase themselves in the dirt as soon as they come.

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