I told her I loved her on the Fourth of July. She didn’t answer right away. For a moment I thought I had miscalculated my comfort. It was dark, she felt my face, we felt the grass together. I told her I wanted kids and that I believed in God. She's smarter than I am. I asked her why we were made like this. She cried. I told her I wanted my kids to have a father. I pressed my thumb into her chest until I broke the skin. I twisted until I felt red organs. She pressed hers gently into my head. We cried because our insides hurt just as much as our outsides did.

 

She told me she loved me then.

 

Four missed calls and a voice mail.

 

When I called my Dad back he made a slow transition into something that might matter. I was busy doing other things, my ears trickled in at the right time. The memory is profound but the words aren’t vivid. Dad said something about being truly happy when you live for someone else. Dad said don’t be selfish and something about kids. It’s your baby and marriage and kids. Something about life and death. Money and pain, growing pains, and skin and bones. Something about skin and bones and skin and flesh and how we’re different from our skin, and how our skin is only grazed by lovers and how our flesh will only bind us to them.

 

He had asked my Dad for blessings that were now being recounted back to me in the form of premonitions.

 

Bless me? thank you, and later that night he proposed. I was confused but then I wasn't. He glided the ring up my finger. I felt the metal on my bones, and skin. and flesh and kids. Sweet babies of my own.