AFTER THE STORM
We pick wet flowers and mix them into the tire-indents
where our parents' cars should be. This is flower stew.
We play pretend––I am the robin, and she is the blue jay.
We play reality––I am the tire, and she is the car.
Her parents don't sleep together and neither do mine.
We part at sunset. I run up the stairs. My mind is always faster
than my body. My mother sees the scrapes on my knees
and threatens to hit me with a wire hanger. It never reaches
flesh. Still, I can never walk past a sharp corner
without bruising myself. I climb the monkey bars at midnight.
Sorry doesn't mean a thing, never laugh too hard, always
think ahead––this is the story my father reads to me
at night. I bring this with me as I swing my legs and squeeze
my frame through the bars. I climb on top of the rungs.
I sit then stand. I laugh too hard, then jump
down. At dawn, my father wakes me up. I lay in bed
and wonder if it is possible to go back to sleep
and wake up tomorrow younger than I am today.