What I want to be when I grow up

And the sun was like it is today
the warmth of it, the egg-yolk-yellow
of it in everything. It ran hot along
the smalls of our backs,
costumes chafing where elastic greeted skin.
A princess and a butterfly
sat hunched
in the yard, my sister and I had our heads together,
hers blonde and floating, mine darker, touching,
conspiratorial and absorbed
breaking twigs and pulling grass
like hair from the ground
out of bright, brilliant
boredom in our party dresses. The gravel
in the old school playground
crunched under shined patent shoes,
lace-trimmed socks flirting with the dirt;
we crouched and squinted, grazed knees wide,
compared wounds, white scratches on red,
grazed palms too on the large stone by the gate
torched by the late-afternoon sun;
revived, we ran.

The egg-yolk-yellow was in the paint of my wings too,
butterfly eyes, black dots
near the tips at the top. My dad
strapped them enthusiastically to my back
that day,
where the boys were too wild
and my dad, used to girls
was often overwhelmed by the small, but mutinous crowd
during musical chairs or tag or games.
I remember the weight
of those wings
in the heat
and the scratching of crepe paper and easter egg foil,
purple dots on silver,
tickling through.
I stood on the high wall by the field
by the house
and bricks crumbling underfoot
I jumped,
the sun in that too,
hoping to fly
and tumbling into the green unseen.


Made up for two
I intervene
taking blankets to the living room;
that grey area that grows
between us.

My dog bed
is wet through
from hot tea and
we clasp chairs close to our chests
like the children you
categorically don’t want
and I do.

We laugh, eyes
on the ground that is temporarily ours;
mine wet, my belly loud
and insincere, chest puffed out
and, catching myself,
I breathe out –
the sound a soft whistle through
gapped teeth. Mine.

On the other side
of the partition door
you Buda, me Pest,
your cough is a bark in the darkness
and later
(ear to wall)
I catch you calling out across the Danube;
your call.

Autumn # 4

Bringing with each fresh glance
new unions of the same rusted colours
conkers and maple seeds, spinning
the golden Autumn of my first year
here had returned
and with it leaves
that thinned
the rimless blue skies
crunching underfoot
Summer’s spilled sunshine:
I ran now, glad.

Had we remained as we were
stoned again in the park
marooned, us two
alone in the dark;
we watched the moon, a soft face
on the folding paper lake
our hands heavy and still on the tracks:
would the Autumn
be so inclined as Summer
was obliging?
To wet skin on cold sand
leaning in, leaning back.