For Petra

I see her and it starts again. Her red hair curls wildly,
while she recites the burning alphabet in her mother tongue
and suddenly once more I wish that I
could be just like her.

She asks me about becoming a simpler
version of herself. She’s waiting
for me to tell her what I dislike about her,
but how could I? I can’t imagine it.

I begin thinking about all of the
different ways I’d like to be undone.
I would do them all once and right away
I would do them all over again,
entirely;
if only for Petra.

She’s quiet despite all of the noise,
and still, she remains soft.
I tell her that I’ve always loved
that about her,
and I still do.
Even if she never did.