10-Line Tuesday

January 28, 2014

portrait at 2

She loved the infinite archeology of a beach. Also, the precise, triangle snap that accompanied
the opening of a carton of orange juice. If she'd had the words, she'd describe
the specific smell of her grandmother's garage, or the shade of red
her lipstick was, or the name of the broken shape it left on a square of Kleenex,
or how the sound "No" leveled her to the bone, and how the best she could do
was let her eyes run empty, crush her skin against the door, and flee the room in rebellion.
Now, of course, she is brimming with synonym and metaphor, articulating shadows
from each crack in the sidewalk, raking through the mulch of language that lives in everything.
And yet, even with this arsenal, she sees the photograph, portrait at 2, of a girl armed simply
with touch, passing fingers through grains of Florida sand, memorizing every one of its stories.