Skylark

By Bryce Berkowitz

verb ~ to indulge in horseplay
 
Chicago flags, bloodshot trigger
the snap of a cold alley. At noon–gray clouds,
pigeons huddle, sugar burnt on the river-walk,
a damp tennis ball left in the park that afternoon.

 
One summer, a boy slipped & fell on the third rail.
He’d been playing tag on the platform with my sister.
Now, most nights, she scales the fire escape outside our apartment
and runs her fingers over wires that get swallowed by brick.
I watch her smoke, cross-legged, head-haloed in greasy lamplight.
If she feels me watching her, she plucks her eyelids
and blows smoke through the bars. She spends hours at that train stop.
The last time I caught her kneeling on the tracks,
reaching for the dead boy’s hand.