After he left, everything became slanted. The towns the cities, the forests the valleys. The entire earth diagonal. He calls occasionally, slow text above my head:
[Hello, it’s your dad.]
[I put money into your account.]
[Just remember, I’m always behind you 100%.]
[Don’t be afraid.]
It’s been so long we mistake the phone for his body—
hug the base on holidays,
tickle the rotary on birthdays,
kiss the handset before bed.
Mother doesn’t seem to mind, or pretends not to. She wears the same fuchsia dress, cooks steak every night, walks King around the same block, all like a fervent prayer. That a will strong or deep enough like an iceberg can bring him back. The clock will tick and set her free.