ghosts of childhood games

linger at the edge of my


linger at the edge of


memories, mental movies play

in my head:

children, standing in a group.

pulling up a sleeve,

walking fingers

up the revealed forearm.

"am i at your elbow yet?"

"feel the spiders?"

the victim shivers, laughs.

"your turn now!"

everyone gets a chance.

everyone is included.

why, then, am i sad, left out?

i can never again play

these childhood games.

the scars on my wrists, arms, legs, hips,

ensure my purity, modesty,

better than religion ever could.

i can never play such games.