gymnasium the size of thimble
promise me the legs you used
to climb the dead tree.
i talk to me child-self. he cuts holes
in every moment i give him.
a rope spills from my father's mouth
& he tells me to climb. we all know zeus
even if he hasn't come to us
in the form of a swan. i challenge
my boy self to a race with my girl self
& my boy self loses & vows
to burn every house he sees
for eighteen years. i hold a spoon
with an egg in it. this is a relay between here
& the warmth of a struck match.
it is amazing how gigantic a space can become
when you start to dream of escape.
one day the gymnasium filled with
red rubber balls. i cradled them.
took care of them like nestlings
while the men came & reaped everything they could.
there is an ai now who can run away
for you & tell you what happens.
i do not grieve my grief. it lives
like a tossed frisbee. of course we can
get it back. i wanted a ribbon or something
to show that i didn't die. that i ran
as fast as my gender would carry me
& then i was in the dark of a metal roof.
i was told there would be a crowd.
there is never the crowd you need.
would you believe me if i told you
i have won? i would not believe myself.
that was several sexes ago. now i am
an amphibian. it rains & i come alive.
breathe through skin. climb the rope.
he changes tactics. he says, "run with me"
& as he runs his foot falls shake the earth.
i already know & he already knows
i have not chance of catching him.