Popping tar bubbles in the middle of the road on the cul-de-sac in summer. Lava cakes, molten licorice stucky hillocks, overburst of what lies, lives beneath. My four-year-old thumbnail makes crosses in each, pressing for tension, testing for what is at the ready, ripe. I move in. Ear to asphalt, I connect to the wellspring, hear earth’s lament her sorrowful ungluing, black shiny liquid spills onto, under my nail, down the sideways, crush of bubble. The release soothes. I expect it to feel more perilous, sear, pulse like the burn of the black road under my legs, my body marooned, my undersides wet with blister. Pebble pocked I am residue held, pushed into the shape of a girl. My father admonishes I have dirty fingernails and I will worry about this until I die, but it isn’t dirt. It is life.