I want to be a superhero. Really, ever since I was seven.
Share it with Milton Spivey. Trade stories.
He is cool because his letter to the editor is published in an issue of Spiderman.
Girl alone on 12th Street.
I love to read. To understand the world at large.
I sneak passages in my mother’s paperback copy of William L. Shirer’s “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.” The pages thin, already starting to yellow, with that old paperback smell even though it is fairly new.
Love that I know his full name. The importance the author places on it.
I read about concentration camps and the number of Jews murdered from this and that European country. Some in the hundreds of thousands. Some in the millions. Going back to the table listing the number of deaths over and over again.
She keeps hiding the book and I keep finding it.
She needn’t worry. I already know the world is mad. Have known since I was five and learned about Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
I am forever scorched.
Trying to imagine my superhero self, going back in time to smash the crematoria. To get the Jews out from behind the German lines. To make the shadows of the disappeared in the ruins of Japan come back to life again.
I listen to Mom’s Coltrane, and my Chopin, and my Songs of the Negev on the portable record player Grandma gave me.
“I could be a soldier there,” I think, “the equal to everyone.”
Know that of anyone I know in the world, it is Grandma who would understand.
Girl alone. Springtime.
I like the silence of my thoughts. The feel of my hair in a plait down my back.
My beige jeans.
Worn-out Hush Puppies with my toes starting to poke out.
Myself. Nine years old.
Going somewhere as swift as the wind.