These are the things they push into my hands: colorful straws and Barbie shoes, cereal bar wrappers, bites of apple and stones, most of them irregular, some shaped vaguely like hearts. Hold this, they say, my palms the place for things they think worth saving. And so it is that later while waiting for the bus I pull sticks from my purse, pieces of somewhere else, poke at the tips of broken toys hidden in my pockets while at work, the other side of me pushed down like that.
The things they place into my palms are at times based on necessity, hair ties, a booger; other times by something needier, the placing of it at once blurry and wet, frantic. They place things into my hands that I cannot hold on to, trust, milk and the weight of their everything. How I want to swallow it all, push every last rock that they ask me to hold deep into my mouth so that I won't someday lose it.