I was 11 and just wanted to do something. Not that I knew what, really, just something, ya' know? Toes tracing hatch marks on the sidewalk. The boys--all of them shorter than I was with their thin, tanned necks. I think I wanted to touch their hair maybe, lace my fingers between theirs, ride my bike super fast hard down the hill on the precipice of possibility. At night I would slip onto my belly in the bathtub and make out with the cold cast iron sides.
Yesterday when I picked up Zoey from school her teacher told me that there had been a bit of an issue. *wink* *wink* ha ha, and it was, really. They are only 4. Apparently a boy named T loves Zoey and wants to marry her and I can't say I blame him. (I want to marry her, too.) So he followed her around and wouldn't stop kissing her, on the mouth, the shoulder, her head, hair, back. When the teacher told him to stop he said he couldn't, that it was just something he needed to do. (Again, I know the feeling.)
Later Zoey said she does not want to marry anyone anymore. That T's mouth was slimy. Part of me wanted to tell her that it won't always be. That someday the world will narrow down to mouths, everything lips, two tongues and the sweet salted plum of somebody else's secrets. But I didn't. Instead I just smiled, my throat thick with strawberry milk. Hands black with newsprint and back page memories. The smell of grass and how on a hot day you can actually taste it.
Photography from here.