Jessica Packhorse skips down the sidewalk, scoring out squares of cool gray cement in odds and evens, whipping their flanks with the red wooden handles of her jumprope.
Mama, if you live in these cracks, I will love you, even to the jadewater green of your weeds, the pocket-lint fuzz of your candy corners. I am the call of the desperate, the clothing of the clouds looking for a great wind to carry me home. When the sun splits the cap of the mountains, I will sleep and try not to wake, perhaps just to ask for the time, a drink of water, a word of comfort. And when I lie back down, the pillow will hide half my smile.
Jessica pulls out a square of white chalk, scratching the exes and ohs in her path, hiding a world of secrets in the press of her teeth.
First published in Alphabet Faucet(Bellingham, Washington) From the collection Great Showtunes of the American Stage
Photo by MJV