(Step into Step)
by Dale Smith

STEP INTO STEP—mysterious, impulsive movements out. K stares at the playground, deciding where to go first, then heads off for the bouncy bridge wielding a stick as a vorpal sword: (“One, two. One, two. Through and through…”). Now he plays in pebbles, picking up handfuls and releasing them slowly through his fingers. Other children run and scream deep in games. I’m calm as oak branches bend under the weight of grackles. A mockingbird attacks, reaching for black eyes and purple wings. I’m absorbed by the drama of the air, feeling into that fierce turf battle. Waylon sleeps in my arms. K puts things in his mouth. Think any moment the sky could go green in a sudden spring shower burst. A gang of children runs by stretching their limbs, free in their bodies for a while and released from a techno-theological nation of control freaks. Soon they’ll be intellichipped, submissive as any professional. A tense, remote darkness deforms these bright day surfaces. Black stone. Black stone. Black stone. Plucked by birth from something I was and put into something I am not. Here my son sleeps. We’re using each other to find something. Step into step. Stranded under a voice informing me that my son is naked. Shorts down to his ankles, he relieves himself in a clump of grass. Watch as he steps all the way out of his pants. I let him go. Write this down under green sky. Avian warfare continues above, the voices of families around me.


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