You'd dunk me underwater
until my lungs
were squealing pigs
I still taste the Kibbles 'n Bits
you fed me in our blind taste test
The pecking chickens
on your kitchen wallpaper
I still see the bronze and silver medals
hanging from your canopy bed
their chime when we wrestled
your gymnast's calves, two apple halves
I bought you a ceramic hippopotamus
for your birthday his mouth wide open,
tongue a little pink worm
and you put him in a memory box
We had sleepovers
my brother gave you quarters
to take off your Hello Kitty underwear
You were like the peeled
skin of a California apricot
You laughed with your mouth open
six silver fillings glinting tinsel
It was the smell of toast
in your hair, the way you made stars
around my name, the way you kissed me
on the shag carpet in the glow
of a night-light.
Posted 07/24/13
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