You, me, Abe and the shark-boy

The last time we were here, the reflecting pool was full and a little murky in the fading evening light. Today, it is completely drained and people are walking in it, looking down the way you do when you are on the beach looking for shells. You wonder outloud what they could be looking for. I say money or some other treasure yet unimagined.

A happy kid of nine or ten runs with a big black shark kite. It is March, but not windy enough for the massive sky shark to stay up very high. He runs fast and hard through the crowds, though. He smiles big and needs a haircut. He makes me wish there were flying sharks and that TV would make kids as happy as trying to fly a kite. “You fly so high and you move so fast. You’re running blindly from the past.” Mary Lou Lord is in my head again. Her cooing makes me want to be a prettier girl. Like when I was little and used to listen to Dolly Parton on the eight track in the basement. I’d stretch out on the pool table even though I wasn’t supposed to and think of being as shiny as Dolly one day.

The last time we were here, we were brand new. Today, we are nine years old. So many things have changed that I wonder if we still have the same DNA as we did that day so long ago.The last time we were here, we kissed behind a column while Abe watched. I don’t think it was our first kiss, but maybe in the first ten. Today you hug me in the elevator on the way up. The elevator doors open to an invisible wall of cool air. The marble of the Lincoln Memorial is still as cold as I remember it. The last time, I thought it was because it was cold outside, but no, the marble is just cold. I touch a column and it feels like a cold can of Coke on my cheek. The empty reflecting pool stretches out in front of us like a sad drained riverbed, and it makes me shudder all over.

You take my hand and we run down the steep stairs to bottom of the memorial. Halfway down I realize that I am the sky shark and you are the happy boy.