Wednesday, April 26, 2017


The Safe Play

I’m only nine
But my heart is
Already an old book
With a broken spine
Pages tattered and smeared
"Only stuck-ups and fags
Read poetry,” someone says
I look away, down at my shoes
With holes around big toes
Because it is always
The safe play
I pull out Ariel
Hold the volume to my face
Inhale the yeasty odor
Picturing a faulty oven
Saying, “Don’t do it.
If I can survive this
You can, too.”

Already Gone

Each morning
I take off my skin
Pluck out my eyes
Douse my brain
With lighter fluid
And set fire to my brain
It’s easier this way
The day gets started
But I’m already gone
I watch the bus
Pull up in a screech
Kids hop on
Most are tittering
About something
Said under breath
One says look what
I got for Christmas
Another says Christ
I’m glad I’m not that kid
The last one on says
Nothing, him mute
A buoy at sea you might
Cling to someday
When it seems dangerous
To do otherwise



Then grade school
The one safe place
When we studied genetics
How during conception
A helix of code
From each parent
Clenches together
Merges and melts to
Create their child
At a wooden desk
Absorbing this new knowledge
I started to shift
And shake
Hoping there was a way
To cleave the code
From beneath my chest
Even if with a
Rusted butter knife
There wasn’t one around
The sharpest thing
In the room
Was a number 2 pencil
Its lead a flat nub
But I used it anyway
The skin around
My wrist giving
Way stubbornly
Lead breaking off
Blood slow to leak
My teacher
Mrs. Marshall
Out of her seat
Cat-eyed glasses
Tilted to her
Forehead saying
Boy what the hell
Are you doing?



No comments:

Post a Comment