The string of lights by the shade gives
two silhouettes away: two bodies,
or the bodies are two shadow puppets
at a junior high school slumber party.
When the girls snap their fingers,
the shadows are dancing. When they clap,
it means they're fighting. When they pull
back my hair and say I'd make the prettiest boy,
I feel pride like the meat of a peach with a cold pit.
One girl points down the night at Hospital Creek
where the ghosts are. One girl knows how to walk
in heels. I know the American Goldfinch
has a contact call birders liken to singing
po-ta-to chip. I'm here, where are you? I've become
pretty well acquainted with the firmness of a grip,
at least how I imagine it from the image on the blinds.
When the two shadows touch, a clinking sound.
When one girl steps away, all the other girls hide
and, returning, I'm as soft as a dropped apple rolled
into the center of the empty room. Test one, two.
Testing one, two. Are you there? Potato chip?
They're twisted up laughing. I don't laugh. I watch
one last shadow: this one looks like a tree being felled.
When the girls shake with laughter, a rainy breeze
slaps through the leaves. When they sleep, the tree
is chopped down into firewood. When they leave
in the morning, branches scrape the window,
two pale fingers part the blinds.