Dear Franz Kafka,


I don't know any circus tricks

but I used to do a mean back flip.

I'd practice them Wednesdays—Girls Night

at the Boys Club, although the boys still smoked out back.

My sister and I would walk home after dark,

just like the children in your story, clasping hands

for security as we hurried past lawns,

fences, the space around us shrinking,

skin brushing skin, our shoes scuffing the sidewalk.


Mother would be home, keeping supper.

After bath, I'd lie in bed

and I wouldn't sleep, I wouldn't sleep,

only listen to the fan's mechanical

clicking.  I'd toss in the sheets, flipping

from stomach to back, trying to get

comfortable, and write stories in my head,

my thoughts whirling, nearly flying out the window.

I wonder if you had any nights like this?

Copyright © 1999-2017 Juked