At the cast of her thin finger I become—
“You be the father.” She says,
“You be the husband.” I think
of everything a seven-year-old girl—
white keloids on her knees, could know
about these things.
From the top of the plank castle I examine
the sky, as a witch would a yolk, I try or so
it seems to swallow the rain clouds. I recall
how in my house the line between boys and
girls comes down to cunning.
I lay my flatness against hers and push, two
ends of the world grinding to salt—she grabs
the pockets of my jumper and pulls, thrusts.
Cheeks flushed with blood—we lost our breath.
Then she says, “You be the boy—eat this.
Chase me when I leave.” I wait. She turns
her back to me to prepare to go down the single
petal of a slide. Before she can leave
I push her from the top, sending her
braided head down first, sending her
to crumple at the bottom.
I slide down after her. I smile over her scraped
face and say, “I’m sorry—I love you. Don’t tell.”