Little Indian Girl


United States
30° 38' 55.4424" N, 97° 37' 59.2068" W

If we're trying to understand the universe
why can't we do it through our hands,
fragile little bones bending
to send the energy we conduct
by blood pulsing in and out of chambers
through all that we touch,
with the hopes of feeling out the edges
of matter and gravity,
two of the only things we can be sure of,
after all, the bits and pieces we have to put together
are that which the earth provides us,
and I swear it provides us with miracles,
sparkling radiant mirrors beneath the dirt
that show us we can't possibly grasp our own reflections
because the "i" that we see is less of an image
and more of a conception,
but that's not what I'm talking about here.
I'm talking about a little girl
closing her eyes and dancing,
her twirls falling in and out of rhythm,
the hem of her dress making ripples in a tide
that her arms snap back and forth to break,
her spastic kicks pounding out the
wrong beats on a sandy shore,
to embed her footprints as deep as possible in the grains -
her hands push the heavy air to keep the water moving,
and the wind she creates
stirs up dirt from my stomach
that I can barely keep choked in my throat,
and I watch her tiny fingers play the music
she's hearing in her head.
I want to know what what she saw every time she spun around
and the world turned blurry,
colors mixing together
to form an alternate landscape -
Tell me little girl,
what world did your fingers find?
She said that she
was on a mission to find a place deep down
where she can sing everything she says
in any language she wants
and the only things that grow big are the flowers,
and they make the whole place smell real nice,
a place where she's not too small to traipse through the forest
without an adult,
and not too big to use dandelions as transportation,
a place where everyone,
all the kids like her,
can pick the fruits of the flowers and never go hungry,
cause she's seen so many kids be hungry,
and what she doesn't understand about the universe
is why?
And I know I can learn a lot from her
because even at the tender age of four,
she knows that open-palmed children
deserve more than they can muster up the courage to comprehend,
that their little hands can't possibly hold the weight
of a vegetable or fruit,
while the fruition of coined giving
dissolves into cracked palms of old men -
and when they touch you,
they don't feel you,
rather you can feel their energy draining into the sewage beneath them,
curiosity undermined by destitution,
dust and grime blocking the passageways
that would allow them to hear the same music
or to know that it's gravity weighing them down
more than the makeshift chains that bind them to a curbside,
their sparkling radiant mirrors
are buried so deep in their chest
that the miracle becomes finding the "I"
and pulling it to any surface,
so this little girl,
she sings for them,
little prayers filled with seeds, soil and water,
hoping that one day
their fingers will touch the bark of trees
and feel the liberation of timelessness
work its way into their veins,
that they can climb up into the leaves
and make a blanket from the night sky,
rather than smog,
and I tell her that if she loves them,
she'll dedicate every star she sees to them,
to give them some light to hold on to
because the stars may change depending on where you are
when you're looking at them,
but the patterns will follow you,
and constantly remind you that you're
looking into something of rhyme and reason
and the most chaos imaginable,
and that, sweet girl, is the reason
so many children go hungry,
because among all the rhyme and reason of the universe
there always has to be more chaos than imaginable,
but if you can use your hands to create a home
and your fingers can rub off caked stains of dirt
and every touch can send warmth
in the form of a love unmatched by spoken word
then why haven't we been using our hands
to understand the universe


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