Joanie
2000

 

lately i've begun to think of "joan", i cant recall

her name or if we ever spoke, but her hair flapped flat

loose around her face, she wore white ankle‑socks pulled

down by her loafer heels. 

     

my legs were fat, and my dress cotton plain to the knees

while the skirt joan wore whirled high along her slender

thighs, blue in the cold, and her thin arms twirled 

jump‑rope designs more like ideograms. 

     

 

how old we were? seven, or six in a school yard, asphalt         
black. joan  skipped rope, which I did alone when no‑one         
knew, in dreams or alter‑life, thin and be‑friended. I           
believe my socks were brown, yes, joan's were white.  

 

i think an angel came and transposed me into joan, because

across the yard i saw myself out‑of‑body being joan, thin, 

alert, celebrated skipping rope, while other girls

watched and sang and counted rhythm. 

 

the angel sang the skipping numbers, and i also.

to this day i feel betrayed, that being joan was

so brief a pleasure, and then as if my journey ended i 

resumed, no longer counting.