Vicarious

Through the alley-way,
a child my age carries

a blue bowl, a plate of salt
and unripe mangos, a sheaf

of old comic books rented
from the house at the end

of the row. Under the clothes-
lines dripping laundry, she

and her friends gather
to read the afternoon away.

I want to join them, thumb
through black and white

pages soft as sawdust to read
about the girl who swallows a stone

and turns into an avenging
hero. I believe in such things

especially since they are never
within my reach, here in this house

of windows— each a surface
my face has pressed against.

 

In response to Via Negativa: Good books.

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