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.