you tell me your happiest childhood memory

In a house without a toybox,

everything felt like something.

Your mother’s tweezers,

a plastic fork,

the lens from a broken pair of glasses.


You called this game gold-mining.


In the family room, combing the green shag rug

with your fingers, picking through the carpet

for sparkles fallen from the spackled ceiling,

you and your brothers and sisters knelt.


From oldest to youngest, you staked your claims

and gathered speck by speck

on hands and knees the glittering dust.

You raced the window’s falling sun

until the darkened room gave out.


Then, your palm filled with gold,

more gold than anyone had ever found,

you sneaked into the hallway closet,

away from the others still digging for more,

and you held up to your eyes that spark

and shimmer. What goodness you mined

you lifted to your open mouth

and swallowed, secret,

all of it. That light

still simmers in your blood.