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running away with the circus (looking for dolphins)

There are three of them, a brazen woman with bright eyes and a big voice, a man going grey with a hop in his step and a younger woman who might be their daughter or their niece that twists her short hair into little tufts. They roam the hotel, sometimes in elaborate costumes, letting us know that there will be a secret dance party near the ballroom in an hour.

The older woman strolls in during dinner in a costume of blinking Christmas lights and exotic face paint. V stares up at her, convinced she is a princess or a fairy or maybe both. The next night, she is all in black, great horns wobbling on her head. She always has a pair of black Converse high tops on, as if they go with every costume or maybe they are the only shoes she owns.

The man is typically dressed as a pirate, in a striped shirt, maybe an eye patch. He is perfectly relaxed, like his limbs are made of silly straws. The younger woman is always smiling, her mouth a wall of metal braces and lip gloss. I imagine they sleep …

from the moon to the earth (after the storm)


There is the eye of the storm, and the calm before it.

There is the aftermath, when overturned chairs and downed trees block the roads. We emerge, in yellow raincoats and tall boots. We wonder if the stores are open again. There is money in our pocket for something savory, then maybe something sweet.

The wet earth smells of bee pollen and dead leaves. This time is rarely noted. It is not a moment to pick up the pen and find a scrap of paper. It is a time to take a long walk, to gaze into the distance and imagine great things there.

It is a time to stay up late.


E is growing. There is a sadness to her, a defeated expression is there when she thinks no one is looking, when I spy her on the playground alone before I take her from school. 

She paints on a smile. She makes jokes. She asks me what is for dinner. 


Sometimes it feels like we are the same person.

She knows joy. She knows love. 

She knows what sacrifice is, and how to crack an egg. 


This morning she woke up as I tiptoed into the room, my first coffee balanced in one hand. Her eyes adjusted to the bright room, a sky completely white as snow coughed from the clouds. We could not see as far as the next building.

She sighs, pulling stuffed animals and warm blankets to her chin.

"Pop." She says.
"Yeah?" I say.
"I had a dream." She continues.
A catalogue of nightmares unfolds in my imagination. A new page waits to record the newest one.
"It was a good dream." She says. "I was on the moon, and you were on the earth and I was jumping from the planets and you were catching me."
"Woho!" I say.
She giggles.
I stand, pretending she is falling from the sky and I run around the living room imagining how I catch her.





Comments

liv said…
Ahhhh, here's to good dreams, papas who can catch and your beautiful rununculus, they are gorgeous, just like your girls.

That is so encouraging that you are in her subconscious as the one who keeps her from falling. Her safety net, her hero.

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