my mother tells me about her parents.

i interpret her penmanship through my screen.

her voice strokes my hair through my speaker, tenderly as her hands did when i was young.


they would do the dishes — she washed, he dried.

they would steal a kiss, she says.

the neighborhood kids loved him — they’d ask for him and he’d come play.

mom would cuddle with him — his breath steady that she matched.


i only want an anchor who’ll keep me steadfast in myself.

i only want a pilot who will lead me through my troubles.

i only want a kid at heart who loves to laugh and play.

i only want a sidekick who will help me make the bed.

i only want a teacher who will show me more of life.


i only want a hand to hold

a dinner date

a confidant.


i only want a cheek to kiss

a dance partner

a listener.


i’ll keep looking.


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