I know it’s after midnight EST, but I did finish this beforehand. I’m going directly to bed (do not pass go; do not collect $200) right after this, but just a bit of natter beforehand to say that I did as the NaPoWriMo prompt suggested, and gathered some sensory details outdoors today. Sat in a tree, people-watched, observed as much as I could, and gathered this scene out of it, even though I couldn’t think of a decent title. This one swings a little far from my theme for the month (reminder: please donate to my Poem-a-thon! Margo is still the only rockstar to help out!), but I’m still fond of it. The kite was something to see.
Two girls huddle together, the cranberry-maned
wrapping tight round the other, who has wound string
round her fingers as if they were spindles
to slacken the kite.
There it is, an arc-minute or two to the left of the moon,
up already in the afternoon, bellying out its white
with a minuscule dark in it as the girls’ pet geometry
draws close and draws away, the air
fierce today, sharp but loose and eddying.
The girls breathe in time. Their eyes lock like a compass
at the same angle. Hoodie sleeves are rumpled, lip rings
are sucked, as they pair their arms and hips
to keep the wings afloat.
So many things threaten a tangle: the clothes donation bins,
indifferent boys throwing Frisbees, and always
the possibility of interference from trees even in the open,
far from the sounds of a city.
And the girls haven’t eaten much for days,
saving their money for Brooklyn, the couches of friends
where they will spend the spring, with at least a leaky roof
over their party-colored heads, waiting for
calmer weather to offer their most prized possession
to the vapor-trailed sky.
The moon will take confessions. The sun will hide its face.
Scribbled on the paper kite are the prayers of young lovers
who write what has not yet taken place.
It will not stay aloft forever: already the mothers begin
gathering their picnics, the rusty bikes are untethered. Still
these two laughing girls catch each upward tremor,
each dizzying fall together. What must need be
but to write these words
and aim for that littler eye of whoever’s up there, whoever
will believe what they read?