I play hide and seek, but only with me.
With my eyes closed, I refuse to see.
I stand under restless green leaves.
They sway and they shush and they bend with the breeze.
I count silently but I count with a beat
by knocking my skull against the ebony.
strike one, strike two, strike three,
strike my head until i forget me.
Even as i find nothing under the stairs,
the gaping, unknown dark space raises my hairs.
My underarms then are prickly with sweat
and my stomach begins its churn of regret.
The squawking of the nervous birds overhead
hikes up my heartbeat and morphs my limbs to lead.
I want to run back to the tree.
I am not ready to find me.
But I've already seen, under the brush.
I'm caught up in looking at me, my face flush.
I'm lying there below, leaves wrapping around;
I'm ugly and green like I'm born from the ground.
I try not to notice the branches digging in,
but they're scratching and drawing bright blood from the skin.
My chest may crack open from my labored breath,
because i pump my legs fast as if running from death.
I drop my head forward back at the tree.
Strike one, strike two, so i can forget me.