Secret Origins

Summer, 2003 / No. 10

my stepsister made elaborate runaway maps

the street names misspelled or unfamiliar

far from my realm of movement

i would tell her they were wrong. (they were.)

i skipped rope


one end tied to the tree at the base of our driveway.

i had to stop to let people walk by

eyes cast low at sidewalk cracks.

lonely only city kid.

i never strayed very far.

i played with dolls.

i gave them boyfriends, parties, jobs.

i was always bored.

i watched TV with hooded lids


of unreliable narrators,

lawful good heroes.

i didn’t want to get my hopes up.