cruise ship we wrote "paradise" on each others backs. it was a game we liked to play before we walked out into the millipede street. in the eigth year of eating bugs we craved citrus & leather. you were planning all kinds of escapes. i tried to keep you long as i could. carry you to the crying square where a great grandfather said, "there used to be cruise ships that could come & take you away." we filled coffins with wheels & told the neighbor children to get inside. we called them "cruise ships." spent a whole night searching for a flowering weed to stick inside as well. found nothing but reeds & prickle grass. better than nothing. better than nothing. i used a stem to brush your shoulder. you said, "i think a cruise ship would be more like a plastic bag than a coffin." down by the river cows were laying on their sides. an adaptation to survive the sun. i fed them handfuls of the sweet dirt. the kind you could only find beneath the tree covered in tin cans. ghosts did that years ago or so the legend says. the cows loved the dirt. i said, "i will bring you more." they were sick of the stinging grass. everything tasted sharp since the clouds started rattling. a kind of permiating static. sometimes i would think, "why us?" visited the grandfather all alone & asked him, "is this anything like a cruise ship?" he said, "oh i never saw one. it was a story my grandfather told me." i pictured a field of nothing but plastic bags full of sugar & then i asked him, "what do you think a cruise ship used to look like?"