If You Call Me on My Birthday

I’ll pick up.

I’ll say all of the things I’m supposed to say, like Thank you, or Wow, I can’t believe we’re 21 this year. Weren’t we 17 yesterday? Time really does fly. They weren’t kidding about that.

I’ll ask about your mom, whether she’s still teaching or whether her arthritis has gotten too bad to spend her days hunched over training five-year-olds the rules of phonics. I won’t make you spell it out. I still care.

I’ll give you an overview of what you’ve missed since you left.

My grandma’s kidneys started failing. My first-ever elementary school crush died this past September. I can’t stop listening to James Blake’s Assume Form album and thinking about how you used to hum every word of it for me.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, I’m writing a book.

But I won’t mention it,

the thing I almost say but don’t.

You’ve somehow found your way onto every page.

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