swirl-dancing down

madix’s mittened hands wiping
snow from the little free library’s shingles
while the school bus rounds the bend
on its way towards us
the crunch of snow underfoot and
the pause we take to inspect our
bootprints (ami’s = polka dots,
madix’s = wavy, mine = the undescribable
vibram hiking boot sole)
snowflakes i report from my time in the field
(time in the field being: the bus-stop wait
at the end of the driveway)
as big as a kid’s mitten
what i don’t include
is the way these windows frame
this ripped confetti free-for-all
swirl-dancing down
tender hot she (who i sometimes
address as boy) writes as i feel
the seeds you planted in my ribcage grow

the pitcher of pandan leaves swimming
in filtered water how i hydrate
more than usual due to this
flavor sensation to be added
to the list of food firsts
the sound, when ami and i pause on the
birch-lined trail, of snowmelt dripping
from skeletal limbs onto
not-quite-ice but not-quitee-mush ground
thorned branch grabbing at
my sleeve a flashback
to the desert month
weighted by gallons of water in my pack
where, amongst us, someone has packed a sharpie,
someone is carrying calcetines,
someone is carrying a blanket and garbage bag,
someone is carrying the gps and maps,
and someone is carrying vita cocoa and expired energy bars,
and grilled cheese flavor cracker sandwiches
and someone, of course, is carrying sunvista
pop-top beans
post-pizza at the kitchen table:
in the first game, ami, madix, andy and i
do the same math problems
with pencil on paper padded with a
magazine underneath
in the second, we roll the dice and
read the corresponding sentences outloud
sounding out the words and going slow
when we get stuck
whale song sounds repeating from
the whale sound sleep animal
placed on the pillow valley
between madix’s head and mine
while he snuffles and shifts eventually
giving way to stillness carried on a steady breath

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