Because there is bamboo and mums and the filtering of sun through trees. Beacause he said “I love you more, Mom, and yes, it’s possible.” Because god. Then the shock that is a gentle awakening too quickly turned to chaos and the impossibly fine line between play and rage – only then and because god is tolerance. I wanted to love like some Southern California sun – so consistent and reliable the warmth, the offerings, that the life-sustaining light itself could be taken for granted. I wanted to love like water. A brook, a river – an uncharted ocean whose quiet calm could not be imagined. Still, the magnificent crimson mum sharing a stem with her lifeless brother and they, the mere possibility of a bulb only one Winter gone. This womb. There are wild clovers thriving amidst flowerless forget-me-nots – their heads pulled off without method by the eager fingers of adolescent’s zeal. This garden. I figured the succulents would take – would spread and cover the cinderblock walls that define our beds. But they are weary – their empty hands seeking light in this Northwestern house of shade.