When my girl and I are children she calls me a
creep feeder but this alters a lot. Now she takes a
pill every day for me.
My girl a little looks like the girl whose photo is
on the math textbook my sister is using this year
and a little like my sister if I think about it too
much. My girl does not care that I do not go to
school. In fact I do not know if she goes to school.
We meet when we are new ones but we live on the
same street just behind different houses. Her father
has one arm but I do not meet him. He loses the arm
she says as if it wanders like Meygen down the road
in a farmtruck accident. It is not convenient she says
this I believe. She says she loves me when we are in
the fourth grade and I build off this forever. She is
mine like the noun like the explosive thing going
off inside me a phrase I read not create but she
smiles to it.
It is the damp months when it is nice to be
outside. I cannot remember what dry things are
although they are everywhere. My girl tells my
mom I say this. Mom takes me to an oldfound
doctor in a new office.
I am not in trouble for thinking there are no dry
things but for saying it. The doctor cannot prescribe
this which I tell Mom in the car.
In fact I am right the doctor’s prescription has
nothing to do with the textures I cannot unfeel for
example the yardmorning sun like my girl’s cheek
against my face if I have just shaved. I tell the
doctor that this is a very overdiligent way of putting
it. His problem is that I do not know how to read
which is a problem even for someone in my
condition. He says he knows I know about a lot of
things including the word vespertilionine because
I’m good at rooting a term he comes up with to
describe when people find things under the surface
of the world. He says trustman and I believe him.
He threatens nothing to me but Mom is silent all the
way home except to say that it is hard for her to
pretend that I know things I do not know.
To fill up the space I try to make her know. I tell
her but she does not listen. I explain to her that
when I look at paper I think someone is slitting the
skin between my fingers trying to deny that I am
amphibious, creek-wading, green.
American Idol premieres this year for the first
time. It is a good thing because Mom treats Idol like
it is semilegendary.
Mom knows I cannot read for a long time but
teaches me masonry instead. It could be not
masonry but she says she is carving stone my sister
laughs over me. Mom gives me books with pictures
and engineering but does not listen to me when I tell
her it is not words that bother me but the paper.
Then of course I eat the paper not when we are in
the kitchen but when I am in my room thank God
she buys paperback. It rains again everything wet
again but smooth like salmon skin when Mom takes
the pan off the stove. My girl throws away two pill
cases but the twin deer who are born in the spring
do not return. We have a new dog who is a good
good dog. He sleeps in my bed when Mom makes
my girl go home.
My girl says her father with one arm calls
thunder and lightning the War of Northern
Oppression. When Ulysses S. Grant dies they drape
the buildings of New York in black fabric. My girl
is buried in his tomb is a joke she likes.