I peered over the sloping back of the couch, vision divided between peacock patterned fabric and white doorway. My mother blindly cupped his greasy cheek in her prematurely wrinkled hand. She saw past so much.
“Mister Ben Siedmannn, can you say mama? I’m your ma…? Ma!”
“That’s right Ben jammin, I’m your mama.”
It occurred to me that I don’t think he knows my name. It’s been a few years since he said anything new, and even more years since he wrote something on paper. It’s not his fault that little sisters who play with Barbie dolls and obsess over horses aren’t the priority of his unfinished mind. But I can’t remember hearing his beautiful, horrible tongue say Isabelle.