When it was freezing they still sent us out.
And we stood pathetically on the asphalt by the
monkey bars and the tractor tires, five or six of us girls
with the plush of our coats pressed together—
a giant blob of disinterested chilliness.
Foreheads against foreheads,
And we whined in shrill voices how inhumane it was
for them to send us out.
But even in the hot months—
no air conditioning indoors and
fat young thighs sticking to plastic chairs—
we still longed for touch, it seemed,
and at recess we sat in a circle of swings
and we would swing as high as we could
and try to meet in the middle of the air,
stretching our legs towards one another until,
nearly vertical, we almost
slid backward off of the seats,
and we would try to tap sneakers
against one another’s sneakers
and when you did it
—well, you couldn’t always time it perfectly
—but when you could,
you felt connected,
and touched by nothing
but each other and the air.
Dev Murphy is a writer and artist from Ohio, now living in Pittsburgh. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in New Ohio Review, The Esthetic Apostle, Anomaly, Eternal Remedy, The Drabble, and elsewhere. You can follow her @gytrashh.