it's a city I never got to visit before it was under water,
it's a willow tree that was struck by lightning in our front yard.
I made a native american miniature long-house from its branches.
I stood under her and said thanks for her forced gift
to my little fourth grade project.
it's an attic I've explored extensively, it had a tiny door that always amazed me.
if I could paint all of these things then I might be able to sleep soundly.
but I can't quite get my brushes to do it, recreate the light on the dust planets,
floating like they had beds and people dreaming on them around my infinite
labyrinth of forever packed boxes labeled with words like
"kitchen china," and "winter clothes." I couldn't read but I could rifle.
the window looked out on a tree that seemed to be in reach. it wasn't.
I remember listening to the fairies that lived there, I remember letting them climb up
my silky dark braids like ladders that slipped so easily out of hair bows.
they rode on my head like I was their own, a four year old giant.
they were ageless, telling me stories of frogs who got kissed. I asked them to
let me be a frog, "give me a crown and let me have my transformation."
they said, "four year olds seldom demand such things."
I told them that I was five now. I held up all of my right hand,
my small palm was such a soft white flag of surrender.
on my fifth birthday they took a nap in the toes of my favorite red velvet shoes.
I fell asleep too, next to them curled on the carpet.
when I woke up, my left shoe was gone. I searched like I was a bloodhound.
I never saw it or my beautiful tree fairies again.
the dust planets never have looked quite so inhabitable ever since.