girl fills all the water bottles and makes potions potions magic girl whose arms petal out like flowers waving for balanced she rides the ripstick girl is six flowers aren’t in her hair yesterday she was called “tomboy” by the neighbor she asked me what does this word mean what does this mean am I not a girl? my partner said to her you can do what you like things aren’t girl or boy or labeled like that do what you like she said yes yes Daddy that’s right maybe boy was jealous of her agile body the way she is obviously stronger though younger she swings on ropes she knows how to braid girl is a circle she’s ever-present like air she turns hot and cold and sometimes she is a calm eye resting in a hammock but mostly she conjures  stormclouds in between her brows lightning from fingertips she’ll dance in the hail with her helmet on she rides ripsticks with her brothers our girl’s another windchime bossy bossy she can tie her own pony, tails the boys, refuses to go the way they lead, our girl grabs a fish by its green open mouth girl digs under rocks to find the juicy worm girl never stop moving even when she’s tired girl the color of apricots girl the color of melons girl the color of foamed milk, girl the color of topsoil, girl the grey of the sky striped through with mica and shine, our girl labels all the rocks and knocks on neighbor’s doors hustles people to buy buy it’ll make you feel better you can rub it when you are stressed my girl’s hair is a nesting place for birds, you know she never combs it she thinks she looks fine and yes she wears her helmet to protect her priceless grey matter she is a little bud she is tender tough, girls elbows and knees roughed from concrete she bleeds she understands her own particular muscle unbloomed yet but she will decide how and when it fills and empties fills and thrusts out new life, she asks all the good questions and I tell her the truth the truth she’s ruthless as roots tripping up the sidewalk she’s old as them too she’s underground she’s listening to worms she sings them songs she’s named each one girl used to tell me stories about owls about babies and bat mommas and fishes with scales like rainbows who go to school and never grow old girl dresses herself and she whispers these questions until her breath gets long and lithe and her eyes half close she wonders how does grass grow? what’s on a dog’s mind? when you die what will I remember you by? girl grown inches overnight with knees knowing the taste of concrete she beats her own tom tom tom with a stick she’s carving to a point what’s the point she knows she is an arrow not yet shot over the cheese-faced moon, she thinks there is a bunny there teasing her, not a man, she’s the girl on the skateboard girl on wheels girl determined to balance, confident and clasping and unclasping, behind her back, her petals, her hands