End of Childhood

September 30, 2008
I can still feel my childhood
as she slowly trails across
the v’s and w’s of my fingers,
sifting through sky,
gust-driven by a puff, a burp
from an old man’s pink jaws.

Like wind, she is evanescent—
water sloshing in a glass,
a house that was once brimming
with men, now empty—
empty: if you can hear a tick’s wings
tapping on the parquet
like a little girl’s flute in the living room.

I am the protagonist. This is
my labyrinth. My womb. The
wine glass hits the bottom of the
wastebasket in a crusty clunk.
The light crackles like matchsticks
in the sink, a man’s ice-stung
breath pushing my past on
over the fence.

When I’ll be fifty-two, I’ll
fly the car over the edge
like my father’s handkerchief
as it wipes the breeze.

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