When I was a little girl, I had a friend
who was a grown-up woman.
This grown-up woman grew up in Brooklyn.
Her parents were immigrants.
She was schooled in lighting candles for ghosts
and reading cards for guidance.
Equal parts Russian scarves and leather jackets,
she treated me like a person.
Before we fell out, I’d take the Peter Pan bus
La pistola y el corazón.
She’d be there waiting for me
and we’d take the T back
to her second-floor walk-up.
In my mind’s eye, so much older
myself now than she even was then,
the pilot light was fussy —
of human waste.
One day, 20 years after
She never meant to cause harm.
irreversible damage myself.
I think of her.