I run to the back fence where
Christina waits, always waits.
Morgan is there too,
the neighbor on the other side of
Christina’s heathen household.
We are 8,7,6.
Morgan says guess what
and we say what
and she lifts her shirt to her neck
and says this is sex!
as excited as can be.
We look at her and look at each other
and I suggest tag
and then Christina shows me a snake
her dad killed.
We don’t play with Morgan very often.
It is the year of a red-headed girl
with freckles all down her arms and
a house that smells like pet shampoo.
She shows me her underwear and
also believes in Santa Claus
and neither sits well with
my young Baptist mind.
She drinks the bottom of a beer can
when her parents aren’t looking
and I love her and also
worry for her soul.
Every narrative from
my single digit years
ends that way.
We trade the south Florida menangerie
of lizards scurrying down walls
and pagan post-trib churches
for the table top of Ohio, a land of girls
who wear sweaters to church picnics,
a state of so, so many graveyards.
I remember no graveyards from Florida,
only my last best friend of childhood
before puberty and Freud fucked us over
like zealots told something untrue about
crowns in glory if we die just the right way
to our own beauty.
I’ve always found God in beauty.
I’ve always rather liked graveyards.