Days after she named the backlit boughs,
we snap some off the pines for swords;
the boys fold themselves inside the forest
to build a mud-caulked, knobby-kneed fort.
Her trailer still in view, I avoid looking
at her bedroom window. She called them demons;
I heard them once. She said to listen for their tongue:
whispers thin as the silk-spun smoke we singed
from bent cigarettes spent by her third-shift mother.
The moon snuck under the bed we shared
as two demons on her ceiling sprouted long hair
like ours. “That one,” she said, pointing,
“is the man.”
How strange the wolf would die
in the yawn of a rock too big for her and me to lift
alone. Underbellied, the spider lies beside her molt;
I am not yet afraid of the world and what it can do.
“Girl spiders eat boy spiders,” I say (her hands
go still on the rock) unsure whether I can ask for a second look.