In the evening, I take the bedsheet off at the corners because that’s how most sheets and stories are told. I take off the pleated and elastic corners where they are meant to be stretched in the evening like after dinner drinks and the news.
When he first came out of my body, the child who would become our son tried to stretch the parts that were even and whole in the joy of having him for us, the parts you’d grown so used to. My body stretched away from itself the way someone’s eyes grow crow’s feet when they smile in the face over the years.
My son was taught to put the bedsheets back on and make his bed every morning because that’s what happiness is. He was taught that boys are just habits and that habits are meant to be broken.
That’s the line I think of the most when thinking of you, when I try to fit the wrinkled sheets back together again in the morning, drinking coffee and our son sings with the birds. And the crows pass by the eyelids where they put pennies for good luck overtop before sending you across that river.
Christopher Bowen is the author of the chapbook We Were Giants, the novella When I Return to You, I Will Be Unfed, and the non-fiction Debt. He was a semi-finalist in the 2017 Faulkner-Wisdom Novella Competition and honorable mention in the 45th New Millennium Writing Awards in the non-fiction category.