this is my fondest memory of you:

crying (babygirl, doll)
I'm at the age where I'm too old to be in your bed
but too young to be in my own
too small to curl up into a ball and whither away
I made up an excuse to be carried(my ankles hurt because my feet were growing)

I'm hoisted up over your shoulders, onto a ship
buried in the nape of your neck like a gem
my baby fingers
splayed out over the expanse of your back
your humpback, the faded reminder of your childhood
the back of a whale, living and breathing
rising and falling, in and out of water
your back is its own person, so round I can't see the world beyond it

it was the 90s, back when our hallway was decorated with mirrors in the shape of suns
I was carried up and down that hall, passing by those little treasures, glittering in the dark like
stars, I guess, but they're suns instead
no other object
astounded me more

I would peer into those mirrors from my position on your back, in your arms
in another galaxy, far far away
peer into the dark and not see my face
and see everything else a little girl could see
this is the part where I remember your lullaby
but I don't, and I can't
not the words or the rhythm, the hush and hum of your breath in the hall
permeating the air with sleep-deprived vapour
maybe your lullaby was a song about me,
the little mermaid curled up on the back of a great whale
the lullaby, with its own palpitating heart
like your humpback (whale), riding waves
the hush seeped into my ear, which was glued to your shoulder
swimming in my bloodstream like a fish flushed down the toilet
draining me
til I was boneless

coughed up from the ocean and barely breathing, I ended up back in my bed, hands curled to my mouth