This is the fall from grace
where all that remains is skin
and a graveled confusion.
I press my face against the glass asking:
What are you telling me? what? what?
He called me out
but I didn’t go.
That was the first day.
He called me out again.
But not until I was lost to myself
the hands holding the map turned rubbery
and non-committal and there was no answer
when my name was called at attendance.
When I was younger, before breakfast,
he cupped my head and kissed me
by way of introduction and
I wanted to believe him.
(There was dirt in all his creases.)
But later, in the senility of afternoon,
with my feet in the onion grass and everything
I don’t know spilled into anthills
climbing out of everywhere
he called me Kiddie Hey Kiddie, hey you, come on out here...
And I didn’t then. I wouldn’t.
I always wash up on this beach eventually.