The Dirt Box

by Starasia Wright

While we keke and skip along the sidewalk, we stumble across something resembling a sandbox, but instead, is filled with this dark substance that favors cookie dough crumble. It is brown with white speckles, green sprouts, and cold, moist worms poking their heads out, groping for air. Intrigued, we approach what we end up calling the dirt box, and agree that we would play in it in a way that is familiar to us. Curiously. Intimately. We sit in the dirt box with our legs folded, reach our hands in, and find out that the topsoil is the most malleable — easy to grab, but hard to hold. It races through the spaces between our fingers to return to its home but leaves our hands slightly blackened like mama’s Sunday sizzling tiger shrimp. We flip our hands over like pancakes and examine the remains. Puzzled, we take handfuls of the dirt again, and again, and again, and realize that each time we do so, our hands become more stained, more soiled than the last time. We realize, unlike sand, dirt tracks of all the places it resided. We now had ten miniature dirt beds packed beneath our nails, forming new homes, housing our curious nature, and deepening our intimacy.