They Call Her

In the dead of night, when mischief meets the crux of infamy, she attempts to break into her own house. Brown, cat-like. Jag lives on the second floor of a brownstone down the street from a festering middle school and project development. She was never allowed to visit. Her mom, has inconveniently forgotten the keys again. No matter.

I am warrior, superman scaling the steps in a single bound, and carefully hopping over the railing, to dangle off the side of the building. Maybe, Spider’s better. Spider’s building, doors, and windows have reinforced iron black bars, except, for the middle window in her apartment missing a few to accommodate the air conditioner. But, in winter, it’s just an opportunity. She loops her paws around Brooklyn bars, swinging to the middle window.

Her mom’s pulse quickens from the ground. Sometimes, she thought, child you astound me. You are all at once brave and dumb. Something and nothing like me. Who will you be?

Spider unlatches the window and slithers in, then bursts from within the gate with a glowing smile of accomplishment. She is eight.

I wish I could freeze them, but it’s not up to me. She needs to make her story, her mom needs to watch her grow. My narration can’t stop the story, can not prevent her losing happiness or the willingness to climb. Can not predict her falling into a man’s bed or visiting the projects with wide eyes. I can’t stop Cat’s stumble or rise. Can not give you answers that language hasn’t solved yet.

I exist in the shade of her existence, documenting. Wishing I had answers for her confusion so she didn’t hurt. God, I hear her bleeding heart needing to be loved, clamoring  around in brown skin that doesn’t always fit.

Girl, if you hear me, this is not all there is. It gets better.


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