The fence around them glimmers dim

as the sun pretends to rest.

They race on the plastic grass.

The boy wins, but sweetly.

He ambles back wheezing,

claiming all was worth the air it took.


Both children were born in the winter:

neither knows quite what to wear

in the autumn,

and neither is dressed appropriately.

The boy is too tall for his middle school clothes

and he appears shrunken

as she tests how close he will let her sit.


In what she can see of the sky,

the west darkens. It is too late

for them to laugh

together at the light.

She worries

whether this silence

will last as it should.


Already, she is armored with tenacity

and like his outfit

it does not quite cover her wrists.


Refusing to admit that

this is the only

worthwhile memory

the two share

will cause her more ruin

than her stomach can handle.


For her there is no incoming light

heavy enough

to wash this singular moment from time.


She will recall the inky field

when she becomes sidewalk stuck

on trying to consume his secrets.


She will stiffen her fingers

grasping, insisting

no matter or energy can be lost.