A Medicinal Type of Believing

I remember how we used to play in the bath,
creating characters and worlds out of plastic.
We’ve been giving meaning to the meaningless
since we were invisible. Our small soaped mouths
sang names for our dolls like they were each
destined to become something extraordinary—
maybe they already were.

We pressed our cheeks to the bathroom window,
peering out into the expanse of blue,
and waited for the evening’s first star
to shed its light upon misted firs.
You finished rinsing your strawberry hair,
weaving your fingers through knotted ringlets,
and then you combed my golden curls
telling me your fists were pockets of magic.

An airplane flew by, and I’ll never forget it
because you told me the passengers
were headed to space. I traced circles
with my fingers in the bathwater,
lost in the ridges of my imagination.
I believed you back then. I believed
that everyone would rise until their tongues
tasted stardust, that one day we would stand
shoulder to shoulder, planted on the skin
of a blazing star. Some days I still do.


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