Past Future Perfect

I carried you under my skin and muscle and bone and flesh and I imagined counting the wrinkles of your hands, the crevices in between your fingers and your toes. I stared at the floor without blinking once until all the tiles swirled around and whirled into each other and when everything else was gone I was certain I could see your stocking feet pittering across the floor. When you pressed so hard against my body that I could see you tiny hand raise away from me, I would dig into my muscle to grab it and squeeze as hard as I was able so I could catch a glimpse of what it would be like to hold you.

I can't unremember that hand.

I cannot account for you in anything but centimeters and heartbeats.

I ran my hands across the crystal ball that housed you safe and warm inside of me and I dreamed visions of you a child, soft and wide eyed and wondrous. I dreamed you a man, dark and bold and tall. I dreamed you all the things I never was and never will be.

I never dreamed of this.

I cannot account for you in anything but lullabies and sonograms.

I held you every day, measuring your growth against my bones, laid bare for you. I whispered truths into your perfect ears while you slept - that you were a God, the beginning and the end, moving mountains with mustard seeds. I wrapped my battered hands around your angelic face and memorized you with every one of my senses so that I could never lose you. You push against me and I pull into you as we waltz across the rooms of our life together.

I could not recognize your hand the last time we crossed a street together.

I cannot account for you any longer.

Last night, I woke you up at 15 minutes until midnight to say my goodbyes. I climbed into your bed and stared into your sleepy eyes and thanked you for a wonderful yea...a wonderful stage of your life. I said the same words I have and will say to you every April 13th at your bedtime, that I cannot imagine a life without you, but I cannot wait to meet you new in the morning. You smiled at me the way you have and will every April 13th at your bedtime, that I have done right by you and you know with everything you are that you are truly loved.

I wrapped my battered hands around your angelic face and tried for a moment to memorize you with every one of my senses so that I would never lose you, and when I kissed your wondrous, wide eyed face for the last time I realized that the man you are becoming is greater than anything I ever could have dreamed, because you are everything I never was and never will be.

Happy 13th birthday, my son.
Portrait of a Teenager