We were in the schoolyard, the girl and I,
whose name and face I don’t remember.
We played during lunchtime, throwing
a softball made of old socks at each other’s faces.
The ball delighted us with every touch, with every hit,
and we whirled ‘round and ‘round, hungry for each other’s faces.
Light as dust on a flea’s wings,
we sauntered all around the yard.
Later, in seventh grade, we were playing,
I went to the edge of the schoolyard.
You raised your hand to throw the ball, but were
too afraid to do so. I waved goodbye, and
you stood mute, with tears welling up in your eyes.
That was the last time I saw you.
The years have plunged, and the heart has plunged
into an empty, windswept place, without the sun,
or the moon, or the stars, or the softball. Only
a peculiar light of thought spins in the darkness.
From the blurry freaks of cold memories,
all I can remember is the softball on your hand.
Girl, whose name and face I don’t remember,
throw that softball at my face once again.
The house is empty, the couch is old, the people
I once loved are all gone. The clock has stopped.
I am aware of nothing but my own loneliness.
Throw that softball at my face, and break
this stillness of my life with a soft touch.