When you were five, I told you, the moon’s
a bucket filled with daylight. It’s a cup,
you gave back. There’s milk inside.
Another time, I called it a fingernail clipping.
You, all earnestness, looked up at me.
It is, you insisted. God’s fingernail.
Tonight, I want to tell you it’s the mirrored
platter from my childhood. As usual, you
are walking ahead, music from your earphones
so loud I hear percussion like pounding surf.
It’s a phase, my mother would say,
if it was her bright eye watching us.
Some evenings you’re still full to bursting
with stories, pacing as you talk, no pauses
between thoughts. Often, though, I’m faced
with your new sullenness. I prompt
with questions; but night’s a heavy curtain
and you stay behind it, trying solitude on for size.