i sat down to write about seashells
but i’ve been sitting here for minutes trying to think and i can’t
so instead i’ll tell you about fairies.
when i was a little girl,
and by that i mean little, and a girl
(of which i’m currently neither),
me and my friend would walk to the back of a
large dark field
stumbling and slipping on nettles and their prickly-horned tongues,
until we found the place where
grass and weeds grew up tall and kissed
the woody backbone of a burnt fence,
and we’d peel the wood and leaves and dew back
and look for snails,
and every so often she would yell
or whisper conspiratorially on the way back armed with iridescent shells,
that she saw a girl with wings.
i never saw her,
or maybe i did and i can’t remember
or maybe i did but it escapes the clipped wings of my mind now.
like i was saying
we’d whisper about it and giggle in fear when
my family would ask us what we were talking about
and hush at the end of the day after telling her parents everything
when the sky bled gray and blue and
red slipped beyond our reaches and
the sun blanched and curled inward and fell quietly beyond the horizon.
i’m sure i saw her somewhere
but i’m older now and my body hurts
nearly all of the time
and my vision is blurry in more ways than one
and i can only think about a different kind of magic
and i say i too much.
sometimes i wish i could go back
(before everything happened)
and ask myself,
what did you learn there?
what did you learn that i forgot?