Do you have a favorite chocolate cake recipe to share with me? I would like to bake a cake for this boy. When he was born eighteen years ago, they held him up under all that borderless white light, no corners, no edges and time stopped. No one was born. No one died. We met being to being like we had stumbled through a little tear in the space-time continuum. Time was slow when it was slow. When he was little we had so much time we could roll around in it— we were slathered in time. Some days stretched out like a cat, or a year, milestones were chronicled, fine neurologic brushstrokes, sit, crawl, walk, words and words upon words, check marks and trophies, wheels, soap, song, sleep, the things he made in school, a construction paper squirrel with a tail made of glue and grass hare. We knew he was growing when his toes pushed through sneakers, like roots in nature—pencil marks on a door frame, my palm knew degrees of fever, and all kinds of nouns marked time, buds and leaves, leaves on the ground, snow and trees, snow on trees, headlights on roads, the double line down the road’s center, double-lined paper with scratched arithmetic, crust left on plates, the years when food was beige, zippers, buttons, laces, short hair, long hair, high voice low voice, the cadence of him padding down the old, creaky stairs, quicker and more curious than his dad’s middle-aged tread, how when he asked a question and I answered he always said, ‘oh,’ shorthand for ‘I understand.’ Time was fast when it was fast— dreams soaked up the rain and dried as practical matters—hubris gave way to caution, parents became ash, the sun came and went. He grew as tall as his dad. The other night we turned the corner onto our street, faint bluebel, rouge-trimmed December sky. First out of the car he walked ahead, he had grown up. I see him now, day after day, walking away. Do you have a favorite chocolate cake recipe to share with me? I would like to bake a cake for this boy.