You didn't mean to unearth me;
You were looking for a toy soldier you buried there
When you were a kid
Black beach sand crescents under your nails.
Me blinking in the sudden sunlight.

The bus lunges and stops, and a few people stumble.
The driver had to let on a pretty girl who had nearly missed her ride.
She was smiling to no one in particular, and I kept stealing glances,
Checking up on that smile,
And watching it take twenty minutes to fade.

You sighed and stopped, and sand shuffled a bit.
You had to pocket me, though I wasn't what you wanted.
I was smiling as I rode home in your jacket, and I kept stealing glances,
Wondering if you were thinking of me,
And wondering when the smile would have to fade.

You kept me on a shelf
In your room in your parents' house, in Philadelphia.
On holidays and birthdays you'd visit them,
And I'd get a glance and a dusting-off
If I had my fingers crossed and you remembered to go upstairs.

Remember learning to use a fork?
Your tiny fingers itching to pick up the food...
It didn't make sense to go through the trouble.
Why go through formalities? Forgo the ceremony!
I felt like that when I first saw you in public.

While under sombre sedation, I heard scritching at my door,
But it was just the termites living in the wood.
I grabbed a knife from the kitchen and gouged it to splinters,
Letting out some new friends. I played with purplish bugs and
Tried to remember the directions back to that beach.

for the Masque

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