Children are born of these wars.

By Tai Rockett. Photo by

They come wide-eyed, bloodstained and thirsty.
I am out of breath barely following. Her spirit spirals as it sprints. What I remember of childhood is: legs, between legs, and the difference between running and running away, between
hiding and disappearing.

Look at her body in a room. Notice how difficult it is to quiet into peace. She is pieces. Even as she sits upright as the teacher suggests she mends and minds the places where the glue is no longer binding this edge with another. Even while sitting still there is work to do. When she is sitting and still she reapplies Elmer’s glue.

How fascinating the games adults never had time to teach us. The games not really games but empty space between supervision and neglect, between haphazard instruction and unbridled curiosity.

The glue has dried and she is gentle with herself. The tough edge of her nail lifts the rounded plate of glue from a fingertip. How many of her fingerprints can she collect before the teacher notices? And why aren’t there more opportunities to collect these pieces of herself? Cannot run anymore to myself, or from what I was intended to be. Cannot run from a self and at
the same time be this self without that running being worked in. Between her, the runner, and me we happen to stay in shape.