To Robert Thompson
When you and I were ten you killed the baby. I learnt about it on the radio on the way to a power ranger’s birthday party. That night, I drank Coke with the sugar left in and we girls ran little pink circles around each other for hours, only coming together to cut to pieces someone’s older brother. Walking my little sister to school the day after seeing you on the television, I practised hardening my hands, tried picturing her fingers as prison bars I had to break. For years we would walk past a half-demolished home the yard littered with stones like frags, and for many days I developed imaginary callouses trying to feel the weight of that brick in my hand, until much later, when I saw it was just a matter of gravity that since you’d been born, you’d been falling. Now you and I have grown up together, but I’m still not at that point where I can take your mind in mine, feel that little hand you felt pulling away and only tighten my grip in response.