We were twelve and stupid, American kids living in America, lying on our backs at recess. You like that? We lay on our backs side by side in the sun, in the grass, full of youth, looking for shapes in the clouds. There. I saw elephants; you saw dengue fever. Sounds unlikely, I know, but you made a good case for it. You made me see dengue fever in the clouds. I said I saw conspiracy but I couldn’t convince you. You were busy finding shapes in the blue. That scared me. Nobody even looks at the blue. Do you remember this? Or was this some other girl I made love to at recess? Feel the grass, it’ll come back. Here. Let me give you your pill. Careful, swallow. Napkin. I hadn’t touched you. Recess was nearly over and I hadn’t found the nerve. As if I knew the bell was about to ring, I reached out to start myself up and found my hand full on your thigh and remembering it now I’m back there still half-risen, your thigh in my hand like a trout from the creek, school bell clangalangalanging in my ears and knowing I’d never keep up with a girl who sees shapes in the blue. When I’m falling, I hold it like a handrail. I wish you could tell me your version. They’re here for your bath; we’ll finish this later. I’ve never left that scene is what I’m trying to tell you, sweetheart. You never stopped being the girl I hadn’t touched. I know I don’t say anything right the first time but something might take shape between the words if I say enough words. No, go. I’ll just keep talking. You lie in your bath and listen and look at the sky.

Copyright © February 05. 2008 David Hodges

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