playing tag with the dead

by Brigid McCarthy

i was a fairy! once!
i promise.  dust in my blood, cells clotting
in sparkles and
bones groaning like
ancient clayworks
coming to life.
i would dance on the monkey bars ob-
livious to
the spirits of Lutheran love spotting my back
feeling vaguely like
my grandfather's strong hands;
a familiar yet absent kind of comfort.
we lost him so young.

it's eleven pm and
i see my childhood
off of streetlights
by my imagination
as i bike past where i attended kindergarten,
the church behind the Dairy Queen.
why did i never see the cemetery
next to the playground?

i understand now
the world is so full of people,
it gushes them
like my ancient blood
when it falls down.