Even now my hands feel sticky with its blood.
Nine stones rattle
in the old Nike shoebox,
like they had then (its blood—
before I picked up the twigs
before I put them down
to pick up the stone—
then the stones, now, not knowing I’d made a quick habit;
but boys are always jumping from one diversion to another.)
but now, nine, anonymous and innocent.
But no, not either, since…which one’s got the…
(not entirely wiped clean—
to this day, how I wipe
clicking against the blueish one (stone #7): this is stone #2,
the only red one (the first one camouflaged in the red clay of my yard).
Calloused and cracked, my hands search for a numerical order.
But I fail to find it and close my eyes to recall, to recite (as I hold
like a murdered bird)
a ditty I made up when I was a kid.