It’s Okay We’re Okay I’ll Say We Couldn’t Sleep (Half-remembered pictures from a long while ago)
There are wood blocks in the barn we carry them out lay them in the snow behind the house. I love you we are eight years old your coat makes you look like a crashed hot air balloon. We stack the blocks we build a cabin. You sit on one side I sit on the other you tell me we have no roof I say what do you expect me to do about it you stop talking. Soon I walk outside I take more blocks I make a wall between us in the house. You say we have no roof I say I know we have no roof. You ask me what we’ll do it if it snows again if it rains. I say you stay on your side I’ll stay on mine. It starts to snow you start to cry you hum to hide the sounds the sounds get through the wall the sounds get here to me. I undress slowly to my underwear I take it all off I don’t fold it. I stand up and I swing my arms and the whole house comes down you aren’t crying anymore you’re staring. My mother comes out of the house she asks me what I’m doing I tell her I don’t know we lie close in the hay in the barn our breath makes white jellyfish drift in the air over our heads I don’t know it but I’ll grow.
She’s our babysitter she’s sexy I’m only small but I know she’s sexy I know I want to put my hands all over her skin I want to know she’s warm and okay. She’s sat in the armchair she’s fourteen she’s smoking. Our babysitter doesn’t speak english why would she we speak in Latvian she says to me she’s bored I say I’m bored she says my parents left the car keys should we drive and I nod. We’re in the car we’re driving she’s fourteen she cant drive she doesn’t know how she’s just going up the road when it stops and wont start. We get out we look at the car. The car does nothing not even a cough not even a shiver and there’s snow in its creases it don’t feel them though. We rub our hands by the car then a man comes past and our babysitter asks him can he start the car can he turn it round the man says he can and he can. When we get home I go to the back room I put a blanket over my head I say every new word I’ve learned today.
Behind the house over the brook there’s a field there’s a small wooden izba with two rooms there’s a boy in the izba and his father and his mother. His father has a tumour in the shape of a pipe he has spectacles wound over taped a thousand times he has whole missing fingernails and his left eye always points upward. When the boy finishes his day field threshing we sit out by his izba we play cards it’s simple highest wins play for hours what else. We’re sat there heavy sun and he’s barely wearing clothes and I say we’re going soon we’re going away he says where you going I say back. He asks about england I tell him we don’t drink goat’s milk there I tell him there are less bonfires and more people and he nods like he already knew it. He asks me to write him and I nod but he’s got no address and can’t read so I think I’ll maybe send him sketches of the city buildings and of the trains and trucks. He asks are we taking the potato patch with us I tell him no I don’t think we are.
There is a pine forest behind and an unclear pond in front there are wolves in the forest there are koi in the pond the wolves are loudest. Dad says we shouldnt be scared of the wolves they are more scared of us he says I say I don’t think you understand exactly how scared of them I am. I say that sometimes I sit on the bear rug by the fireplace and I think about a wolf padding in through the kitchen into the hall over to me fitting my entire head into its mouth turning my neck into a red fireworking stump pulling purple scarves out of my stomach. Then him and mum will come home and I’ll be in pieces and he’ll get the gun shoot the wolf over and over and over to stop it shouting but it will shout the forest emptying of wolves the house filling with them just eating everyone moving upstairs and downstairs wrestling with each other leaving red smudges on all the walls. Dad laughs zips up his fly tells me to calm and we walk between the trees.