Tonight I look into my shoulderbag of books and papers as though its mouth is a gaping maw with a mind of its own. I turn away. A tiny insect circles the dining room lamp. When it no longer thinks I'm paying attention, it will become my shoulderbag again, and I will go back to work.
Tonight I have been thinking of the year we made kites, the year the store-bought nylon one got away from us in the park and lodged in the trees. I started calling back kites on my walk home from the store with a bag of garbage bags; I pulled one out early just to hear it flap in the wind. The wind caught it, made it a lonely girl's sail on a landlocked street. I remembered the plywood frame, the black and neon paints, the strange propeller and enormous rubberbands that should have sent the kite flying until a breeze could catch it. But didn't. (I did not remember the dual-propeller airplane kite given to me the day of my dissertation defense, the one that never flew, the one I disassembled when its giver left town, the one that still lives in my trunk four years later. Though it must be said that I am remembering it now.) (Who flies a kite at night? If I knew a man with a stock of luminescent pastes, I would ring him up and we could find a field of new grass, fingerpaint that kite, and set it alight.)
Tonight that flapping bag lofted me all the way home.
(Look: the shoulderbag is dozing off, falling back to being just itself. Nothing to fear now: pull out a book: get back to it.)