‘i might be rich, but it isn’t like i suddenly forgot eleventh grade.’

if i were a wealthy eskimo

iñupiat, to be exact

who fell into new money

when my lucky numbers matched,

i’d throw a wild party.

i would have my ice imported

from richmond, via train

and my salmon shipped from sweden

fished from landlocked lake vänern.

i would wear london’s finest furs

tailored by mayfair, sent through air

and my shoes the softest leather

cobbled in buenos aires.

i would buy a yellow rolls

 and refer to others as ‘old sport’

because even new wealthy iñupiat

can be be fans of classic american literature.

i would usually leave through the sliding glass door on the patio

as a child i would pretend to run away

by packing myself a shoebox-full of snacks
telling my mother i was running away
and spending an hour or so
hiding behind different buildings in our apartment complex.

i rationed my food,
taking tiny bites
of potato and corn chips
so they would last.

i have a question for you

but first a statement i should make
an answer to a question you have not yet asked;
yes, i would. forever, always.

would you like one day
          and maybe what i mean by ‘one day’ is
          ‘every day’
to pack a shoebox-of-your-own
with snacks and maybe some water

and come with me?

‘you won’t need sunscreen, darling, we’re indoors’

the white noise we use to help you sleep at night

is a recording of the ocean playing endlessly

which is how the ocean moves, mind you,

she’s restless and alive like you,

anyway,

i’ve come to love the sound of the ocean

whispering through your monitor

or the sliver in your nursery door to let the light in

because now her quiet roar is yours

and when i hear her movements on the sand

i am hearing you breathe.

tin pail once overflowing with river stones

the boy stood facing the dark

summer wind tugging his t-shirt

cowlicks wild in his silhouette.

he held a tin pail filled with stones

he and the girl holding his other hand

had found in a creek earlier that day.

he lowered the pail of stones

onto grass now between them

and each took a stone in hand.

they let each other go

and stepped apart

still side by side and facing the dark

stones danced in their palms

summer wind ebbed and flowed

in waves; a dry tide

‘this is for eli,’ said the boy,

snapping his arm forward

and flinging the stone he’d held.

‘this is for my fear,’ said the girl

wild curls alive during her follow-through

as her stone flew up and away.

‘for scarlett.’

‘for chance.’

‘for my family.’

‘for my family.’

‘for you.’

‘for you.’

the pail once overflowing

with river stones

stood near empty between boy and girl

the dark before them

once total and absolute

shattered glass at their feet.