THINGS THAT CAN STILL MAKE ME SMILE

videos of golden retrievers gentle enough to hold raw eggs between their jaws without biting down, remembering that, to every tiny baby on the planet, the whole world is made of soft voices and spinning mobiles and glow-in-the-dark stars pasted to nursery ceilings. teary-eyed phone calls from far, far away because at least, in spite of everything, we still have this— You hang up first! No, I did last night. Okay, fine. the sound of children pedaling training-wheeled bicycles and yelling On your mark, get set, go! outside my bedroom window, how sometimes childhood still feels accessible from this vantage point, from the same baby pink room I occupied when I was just as wild as them. ancient footage of the year 2000, when it was soapy baths in the hotel sink and marble-eyed gazing at Barney from my bouncer and dimpled hands reaching for bigger ones. how all of this happened before anything bad ever had the chance to, before the days of capital D Diagnosis, before every chapter of hurt and heartbreak, before I spoke the languages of wound and hate. I rewind that gummy smile over and over again, pausing for a moment, wondering if I’ll ever think of the world to be as good as it was to me back then. the whole world, so good.

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