two girls wearing white dresses are skipping rope
[ This photo is in the public domain. ]

Night. Ashton lies on his back,
as every other night, when he tries
to welcome
the dark procession
across his own permeable
being. Now comes his favourite part:
on the soft palate of his heart, a girl
skips rope.

From the bottom, Ashton knew his life
depended on her skipping —
depended on her
not skipping
a beat.