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Rocking chairs, stacks of books—collections with your name on the front.

I’ve read them all.

You laugh when you bring me my plate, because you’ve seen me read this one so many times.



The fortieth time, I find something new, the same I’ve done to you, my friend, each year of our marriage.

Anniversaries don’t have to be fancy for us.

Sometimes it’s best to simply let the memories roll around the synapses of our brain the same way we watch our cat roll in the grass.

I say this aloud, and you laugh.

Always the neuroscientist, always the one with silly medical analogies ready to slide off my tongue any minute.

I haven’t changed at all.

You haven’t either, at least not on the inside.

Outwardly, you have been nothing but change, and every single day of a deepened voice, the first time you could grow a beard, the hours I sat beside you in the bed while you recovered from the joy of removal—

I wouldn’t change, or forget, a single one.

The name, the body you’ve made for yourself—it was really you all along, just hiding deep in the person I met back in grad school.