my grandfather is still learning how to FaceTime
he holds the phone like he used to hold me
his hands cupping the screen
him peering over so my vision is completely obscured by his enormous forehead

when we call, I always put on my biggest smile
trying to imitate my natural grins from childhood that festoon his home
this is how he remembers me
my grandfather’s arms were the first street I grew up on
parallel and stretched out
ready for me to run into
that is how I remember him

now my hometown’s roads bulge and protrude
they run out at outrageous angles, and then spontaneously collide
his freeway of veins have created lumps and bumps that I do not recognise
they say that I am outgrowing his embrace
but I still win arguments against my cousins by saying he loves me more

on results day, I FaceTime my grandfather
he has suddenly learned how
he angles the phone perfectly
I put on my biggest smile
hoping to overshadow the purple moons stamped underneath my eyes
for once I wish to see only the top of his head
to still feel cradled in his arms
the connection is weak
his face wobbles and jerks
like a child learning to walk for the first time
for a moment, I am little
tickling my grandfather as he squirms
and then surrenders by saying
“Yes, you are my favourite.”