how far deep way in down around, just missing then flicking the sharp splinters on oak steps that wind, trace your face into the stairwell wall, up, look away, everywhere, sun crisped windows mandate happiness, confounded, smiling plaid-skirted suburban schoolgirls, mothersewn hems, how her knee socks climb to right there on her calf, never slip down, straight hair a ledge, in your eyes, it was never easy, laughter hesitates just before releasing--never full never fill never full, if you would have just once stopped.
Is it so different now, faces criss-cross, find eyes of another to fill empty sockets--you never blinked. why? far away far away not so far smoking on wet grass under the monkey bars, what was it 8 in the morning, sharing the stash.
Houston, you only thought you had a problem. what what what who who, if it's attention she's seeking, resolution is a curtain call, final bow.
In between sink under the water, no further, cold so much and up so far: burning, sparks, break through the glass membrane, how the night fire never engulfed their twigs, why not, that night, tonight he came near, came there. Emptiness is due north.
Children are marshmallows bonfires sticky cream sticks become winter coats, to gandmothers' house we go, seasons, not reasons, parkas piled on the guestroom bed, scarfs and mittens, layered in a freefall, feathers of our family bird.
Overtaken--always the scent, aunts uncles cousins, inhale, hold it, I climb underneath, loss is my blanket, safe I run, faster, to the swing sets, cold chains threaten to take my tongue, frigid blue sky my witness, flick, kick, stick, swing higher higher still, and when are you coming?
Bring the matches, baby I'm jonsing already, and how many scents are there, rearranging me, the first time, winded, a kidney punch, suck air in, how much can we hold before there's no more room, on the stairwell, everywhere, sun crisped, not knowing how to feel.
I will tell you; just ask.