They felt the wind on the down of their necks.
After the murders, children
in the town dreamed of houses
melting into the sky.
Fear built its hive inside them.
But as they grew
their memories dwindled
like their bicycles that became too small to ride.
lay buried beneath the trees’
shadows. Parents split
and moved away. One sister
survived. One witnessed the dark ceiling
of every midnight
fall into her thoughts.
Reminders kept surfacing: a red bike
hooked to a chain link fence,
a note folded in a pocket
and put through the wash
until she couldn’t read it, until
it was grit between her fingers. But
she knew — You will only be a ghost
sliding through the trees.
This crumbling. Once upon a time
she sank her foot into the shoulder
of a shovel.