Things I'm not supposed to talk about
A few summers ago
he bought me a
frappuccino and carried
it four blocks until we
could find a table - so
crowded was that July during
fair season, when white
tents scattered across
hot cement like windmills
blowing in warm breezes.
By the time we sat down
my drink had melted in
his damp hand, but I smiled,
drank flavored water and
listened to the words that he
said - his voice tasted like thick
tobacco from his stuccoed
tongue - his house was shaped
like an old castle (all windows
and towers) and he had a hand
full of horses that he said I could
ride sometime. Anytime, really.
The conversation turned to Thor;
Greek?, I ask - Norse, he corrects.
I'm counting the gray hairs that
scatter his beard like chess
pieces on the board of his leathery
tanned face. This is the day that
I'm not supposed to talk about, but
I can see myself in the window
where my hair still hangs long and
my sandaled feet are bony and my
legs are baby-soft. I smell soap,
cigarettes, people with their hands over
their eyes to block out the sun. I
laugh to fill up the silence and suck
the ketchup off my fingers. I remember
the hours of words; bitter little laughs.
Sitting on his porch where the wood shines
red and sunburns form on my shoulders
and head. There was an old car across the road
with a swarm of hornets nested inside and I wanted
to go and investigate it; but my childhood was over.
That was the day that I wasn't supposed to talk about,
so I can't say much more.