Things That Are Real

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Five Years Old

 

  • The green umbrella we shared that July evening when neither of our mothers were watching. The way you held my hand – your fingers wrapped so tightly around my own.

 

  • Your anger when that other boy pushed me off my bike on accident. The rainbow in the sky and your hand placed protectively under my scraped knee as I cried on the pavement.

 

  • The house we built from chairs and blankets and toys in the veranda. The dolls I cradled in my arms like our babies and the clay bread I served you with a smile when you came home from work.

 

  • The day you pulled me against your chest to show me how my head barely reached your nose. Your steady breath on my forehead and my foot making circles in the dirt beside your toes.

 

  • Your wet, trembling lips against my warm cheek and the thundering of my heart in my chest. A curious parrot watching and my mother calling me for dinner from far, far away.

 

  • The last hug we shared and my promise to call before getting into the car. And the little strip of paper with your number that I lost long before I reached my destination.

 

  • My bones trying desperately to run to you and the ropes pulling me back from your waiting arms. The conviction that you were the last real thing I felt before I fell.

 

  • Your fading memory that I hold onto so hard. And the cuts and bruises that the ropes inflict on my struggling fingers.

 

  • Fingers that want nothing but yours wrapped around them like they did so many years ago. Like they might never do again.

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