To Andrew

I wonder what’s happening on the other side of your eyes. But you won’t let me in because you have a choice in the matter and you are much more prudent than us grown ups when it comes to interpersonal exchanges. As it turns out, we’re not nearly as normal as you are. Not even close.

You thieve for check marks and you beg for extra recess and you steal smiles more naturally than all the charm in Paris. You plead mercy inside the times we spend together. With properly folded hands and one word exclamations paved out of flashcards.

You never let up, because to do so would be to lose the line we have established thoroughly. And you know far too well, what ties mean. You know all about that unmistakable knot . . . much better than the professionals who use white out and Advil to create the buffer. You know better. Than us.

When the world goes to sleep, I want you to be the last word standing. Because you’ll make it understandable.

You know full well that having a way with words has nothing to do with words.

At all.

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