Lounging in bed on a Saturday late morning,
I crawl in with you and mom,
but she was long gone at the sewing machine.
hunched over in the other room, we could hear her
I make motions to leave and you
caution me about the mice
that I’ve never seen
at my toes, so I stay
next to you and smell the short outtakes
of your light breath.
Walking home from school
David and I run to the parking lot
to see the brown Ford Mustang pull out
and take you to the evening shift at the factory.
You wave at us from inside the car as you back out,
but do not stop.
On some slow days, we get to the lot
and look at the empty space
where you just were.
Shouts and auntie holding me back
from running to mom and grandma
holding your arm to prevent another
of the plate on the tiled floor.
And David next to me crying.
Your lower lip is crushed against your upper teeth,
but your eyes are on mom and I don’t remember them leaving her,
even as you put your raised hand down,
even as you put the plate back on the kitchen table.
Long car ride, late afternoon heat
and I’m dozing, sweating in the back
but I can feel you rustling me,
I don’t open my eyes in the hopes that you’ll carry me
my head nestles into your neck as you
put me over your shoulders
and David cries, She’s faking! I saw her eyes open.
Sssshhh, mom says and I watch the street light
bounce behind you in the bright sun.
A cool day at the park, green and clear.
David and mom nowhere in sight as you lead me up a slide
that feels a mile high.
I get to the top and sit on the cardboard and
down until I feel the wind on my face
and my calves,
which touch the metal,