Asking if you could come over,
I wrote a note to my mother
with a pictogram I drew of your last name
because I couldn’t spell it yet.
Brenda dropped you off
in the pouring rain,
your face wrapped
by a pink hoodie
strung and tied tightly
beneath your chin
in a slipknot.
We played with the off-brand Barbies
my grandmother had stocked my room with
and watched Tom and Jerry on channel 29.
My mother fed us
PB&J with the crusts cut off
and milk in Grimace and Hamburgler glasses.
We ate off Dad’s old Lone Ranger tray tables.
Later, while my mother distracted herself on the telephone
you and I crept up creaky stairs
to the master bedroom
and rifled through her vanity drawers.
You applied a shade of lipstick
it made your corn-silk hair
look like yellow crayon.
I opened a stick of rouge
and dotted my cheeks
with smears of the clown red.
Bored with that,
we forsook the makeup
and headed to the poster bed
for a round of Moon Walk.
We jumped so high over the mattress,
we bounced off the taut fabric
of the canopy
before my mother stormed the room
and yelled at us to knock it off.
We screamed like little girls,
ran downstairs and out the back door, giggling.
The sun had come out
and dried up all the rain.
We ran past Daisy in her dog box
and the overgrown lilac bush
into the field of cucumbers
thriving on Jack Eckart’s property.
We skipped rows and soiled our sneakers
as we ran and ran away from the house.
We didn’t stop until we reached
the railroad tracks
where they crossed
You stood on one rail,
and I on the other.
We faced each other
and didn’t say anything.
Your eyes were big, blue marbles,
Your lips iris petals.
Neither of us felt the vibration
beneath our feet.