I Promise I Won’t Cry

— Carlina Duan

day with the blues stuck beneath our fingernails
so we go to the park hoping to catch a goose

or a deer but instead we catch a plastic bag full
of gardening tools. leave it, say the woodchips

please leave it be but we’re already holding
the trowel in our hands holding the shears

in our palms pretending we are holding
some small mute bird. snip, snip we are already

scuffing the dirt in our holographic sneakers,
already taking a rake to the swing-set where

we once chewed the hard skins off apples.
one of us will crawl into the wheelbarrow

& instruct the other one to push. one of us
will fly. we will lop little yellow coins off

the trees. we will puff as we snake the hose
around our legs, across the grass where

a whistle brays us home but we don’t
listen. it is the era of walkie-talkies

& one of us will dig a hole & bury it
to see if noise rises above ground.

one of us will press her ear against
the dirt to listen. here, the earthworms

live & do their disco dance. when our
yeye dies he joins them. day with

the blues stuck beneath our fingernails
so we dig & we dig & we mess

with what is not ours.

Read more from Issue No. 14 or share on Twitter.