picked up wind grasses quick and unreachable.
Like that girl, my dad’s girlfriend’s daughter.
How she was 11 years to my 8.
How I wanted to touch the soft
pastel of her shirt and its netting
around the tan of her shoulder.
How on the slide together, I flew
before my turn to get behind her,
to come down together in a girl mass
of legs and arms. The feather of her hair,
darker than mine, stuck to her face.
How I fell asleep in her bed
with my hand under her pillow,
a strand of her falling along my wrist.
How I can’t remember her name.
Memory, its own worn But also
the stuff of post-surgery, globs in metal
bowls gunky and untouchable.
Like me and dad’s girlfriend’s daughter
on the slide for long hours in the dark,
3 AM hungry and thirsty.
How there was nothing
to numb our own very needs.
How parents with bottles, were empty
clanging glass piles in the park
pill bottle maracas tucked in
pockets and under seats.
How the girlfriend’s name was Vivian.
How we all made it back alive.
Laura Cyphers is a graduate of Goddard College’s MFAW program. She lives in Tennessee and teaches and tutors writing when she can. When she can’t, she cleans, organizes, and does just about any odd job that will also afford her time to write.