What was it again?
The stories from the back of the room
no longer silent. The slight person standing
had that pearlescent skin, wet stone
under loud moonlight.
Something else fell.
This time from the front –
a piece of brick
or something that was too fragile to begin with anyway.
Now throw the ball to me, yes to me.
Three loud slaps on the wood and my palm is red.
My ears hear something familiar, music.
It smells like gardenias after the clouds part
so we can catch worms among patterned driveways,
mud under my tongue
while my feet start running. Slapping past the grocery store
and a salon
that used to be an ice cream parlour when I was eight
and only ate bubble-gum and bagels
and sometimes long stems of grass
with the sweetened root.
My palm is still red and through the trees I see us in a circle on the ground.
We are all ten and drinking juice boxes with too much sugar,
the old book of charms in the centre.
What is it like to move through curtains,
escaping things like the sky and vegetables?
I can touch my younger self on the forehead without her noticing –
a thumb right in between the eyebrows,
and thickened all at once.