• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 12


I remember whenever I’d fall,
scrape my hand, cut or graze
a knee, you’d sing as you soaked
clouds of cotton wool in lukewarm
water to bathe my skin, stroking
all the mud, grass, dried blood,
the hard, dark concrete teeth away.
Once clean, you’d dab me dry, patch
me up with a dinosaur plaster sealed
with a kiss. I’d point to where it hurt,
say ‘ouch’ just like Elliot in the film,
and you’d stretch out a finger to touch
me. The squish of your fingertip
warm and buzzy like electricity,
making my chest light up like ET.

I feel the cold more now
you’re no longer around.
My hands, blue-tinged
still recall being small
enough to fit inside your palm.
Days come and go like drafts
sweeping through the house
and I blanche, jaw stiffening
on my pillow, ‘ouch’ not strong
enough a word anymore.



Yet today when I sliced my finger
rifling through some papers,
of course I knew what to do.
I cleaned, I dried and fetched
a plaster, remembering you;
your song, your kiss, your fingertip.