Years and years and years ago
She would dance in the brilliant colors
Cast through the prism on the windowsill
Over the sink in our kitchen
It made her feel full up of light
Radiating outward from every pore
Like she and I weren’t arriving or departing
But were only here
Barefoot on the linoleum

I remember the day in late July when that lightness came over her so hard
She thought she’d float right up into the ceiling fan
She collapsed in a fit laughter
Trying to imagine that scene in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
Which of us would be Charlie and which would be Grandpa Joe
I said I had the mustache so it was settled

But as it was she was departing
Leaving me alone for the worst of it
Light still soaked the kitchen floor but
The prism had long been put away or yard-sold or shattered
And the linoleum gone to hardwood
I never knew her name—not for that first part

I didn’t even recognize her the day she came back
It took me a moment to find the courage to take her hand
I led her to the kitchen and showed her how to dig her fingers beneath the wood
Tearing it away from the familiar green pattern
It was the middle of the night but the moonlight was more than enough
When she showed me the prism she had been carrying

I set it on the windowsill
Watched as its image danced over our bare flesh
But we didn’t move
We just held on to one another
Afraid we’d break it