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.