I am eight years old the first time my sister gets caught stealing.

It is a white dress, almost prom-like, though I don’t know it at the time.

A white halter with a gaudy diamond broach at the center.

Years later I will find a photo of her andher first boyfriend, Miz  sitting together at a round table.

I remember my own time, in the big hall on 9th street.

Ingrid’s dad who died two early, who I wonder how she still thinks about, drove you in a porche and you sat in the front because you were ten months older.

You wanted one sentimental dance with the boy that dumped you three times in the span of two months, when the ground got cold and slushy.

He had left before the last song, the sad, overused song at the end of the Titanic, he broke out into a wreck of allergies and had to go to the emergency room.

He wrote to you later and asked if you enjoyed yourself, that was his type. Not you.

You answered while cat-sitting at an old music teacher’s house.

You can’t remember a single good conversation.

Is he surprised? Livid? God, is he even alive?

Trying hard to read every face and failing, time and trial again. 

You find the spots after having been here only a short while.

Goosebumps on the body, tea for one, not two.

That’s how it works, almost always.

Pretend you are comfortable before you really are and everyone is somewhat fooled into submission, however  uncomfortable.

It’s such fun to talk in twists.

Good conversation is your premise.

The sky is clear, my eyes are clear.

I get myself grounded, think of five things I can see, four things I can hear, 

three things I can smell, two things I can taste,

One thing I can touch.

I choose you, I choose you for the rest of my life and only wake up

with my palms full of you, or cold, empty, judgement filled sheets.