ten and three
i. run past the corner store where the younger girl than you, two years and a half-day, skips skipping rope. she’s a child, but you’re a child too and you could tell your age onto the grandfather clock just a few months ago. but don’t spend so much time thinking about your age, or her age, because one day you will start crying like alice in the rabbit hole and you will float away. so you watch her skip and you watch her dried out blonde hair drifting in the wind and you look at the bones poking out from her body and you hate yourself for the crimson cakes you ate last night as your mother smiled to herself, tired eyes.
ii. there is a dead bird on the sidewalk today. a rotting dirty crow who probably stole garbage from the boxes that line every street in this town, they only like shiny things though or so they say like an old wives tale so everyone puts little mirrors near their garbage now. and you’re walking your dogs, they’re tugging at the lead you roped around your shrinking wrist, trying to eat the dirty rotting crow. “shh, you’ll get parasites if you do that, honey. stay away from the garbage of the city.” for a second you wonder if you should let the worn threads of the leash slip off your hand, let the untainted animals run away and stay away. you hate those rotting, dirty crows.
iii. clink soda pop glasses with your honey-eyed friend and smile through teeth slightly stained. unspoken words hold heavy heavy on both backs, as hair tied tight above our heads only slightly disturbed from our jumping and working weighs even heavier. ten minutes until you make more art, ten minutes until arms will make symmetry with tiptoes and lines of violin will make symmetry with the pang in the lower left corner of your stomach. the honey-eyed friend is a child, but you’re a child too and you could tell your age onto a grandfather clock a few months ago. but you don’t think about that, and you don’t think about dancing, or dead crows, or collarbones. sip soda pop and pretend to be young. or pretend to be grown.
Sylvan Lebrun is a high school student living in Tokyo, Japan. She enjoys music, poetry, and many other starving-artist-passions.