From the height of a swing set
A boy of 9
With dark hair and
Ran out red cheeks
Looks down without thinking
Hollows his tongue
Pools his DNA
And fires his fermented sweetness
On a so-called friend below
And though aimed at my head
shattered my heart
Years later when I am told by another that by
he means he wants to pee on me
i sprout forth blooms
of wallflower so far down my spine
that Mary Lennox herself could not find
the key to unlock it
Of course, not long after
To the starting block of my own
own Mark Spitzery
I look down without thinking and
Onto a naked ski mask
Too afraid to reveal the face of a child who wanted to whisper
the dreams of butterflies
More than he wanted to see the color of his playmate’s blood
You told him he was wrong
And I told myself I was right to abuse him for it
But everyone is on their phones and they
Here, mother says
This is food.
I learned to grow it
from the bottom of father's bottle
and cook it over a flame of boys
who kissed too hard
It's yours now.
Eat it and become.
Peace I Cry
and the soul hollows
Tightness of breath
sourcing a drama from which there are no
words to be spoken
No tears to be feigned
How will this fadge, dear one
without the God's recognition?
If empathy is only reserved for
the worst possible scenario?
HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU BEEN TRULY SHOT WITH ADRENALINE?
AND I DON’T MEAN DURING YOUR 3-MILE JOG, BRENDA.
I MEAN EVERY CAPILLARY IN YOUR BODY POUNDING WITH RIGOR AND OXYGEN? YOUR PUPILS DILATING AND THE WORLD BURSTING INTO FLAMES BEFORE YOU AND AROUND YOU BUT YOU CAN’T BE BURNED? NOT BECAUSE YOU ARE INVINCIBLE BUT BECAUSE, IN THAT MOMENT, YOU REALIZE THAT YOU ARE ALSO ON FIRE?
YOU ARE IT’S VERY SOURCE.
THEY TALK ABOUT “FIREWORKS” AS IF THE FEELING IS SOMEHOW ABOVE YOU
LIKE IT’S FAR AWAY…A VISION TO BE SIMPLY ADMIRED WITH OOHS AND AHHHS.
BUT IN BEING KISSED BY HIM
MY WHOLE BODY ERUPTED
EXPLODED INTO COLORED LIGHT.
IT TOOK EVERYTHING I HAD TO KEEP FROM SCREAMING.
He held me like Midas holding gold.
Like I was all he ever needed
and not nearly enough.
I miss the world’s stage.
I miss the immediacy.
When nothing else could possibly matter.
I was so good at shutting out until they asked to let me in.
Why would I champion the practice that hurt me?
Pulled me from safety, stripped me naked-
Or did I fight a mere bubble bath?
Was I so scared of being naked in front of my peers, my industry, my world that I awakened a Bull who blamed the bumps and bruises on the layout of the store? A wordy yelp review for the Mom & Pop who only wanted one, mildly nice vacation along the shore.
The system is stronger than that.
The bath asked me to be the Bull
No. The bath asked you to NOT be a bull-
The bath asked nothing of you.
the bubbles would wash you away, revealing a slimy, over-fed rat incapable of anything substantial-
Is that true?
Or would the bath reveal an animal unknown?
Kept from creation due to paralyzing fear of the long, confused pause before someone decided to speak, to name.
Blue Socks and a Black Heart
Unlock the cell of yesterday
and I leap
into tomorrows never to be seen
An apostrophe placed
above the common fantasy
makes it my own
and Lights, go
on Voyeur and Viewer
who embrace in parts
they wrote for and play for
only the other
Reality is water of continual thirst
And I am nursing a toothache for sweetness
only the mind can conjure
A past-bedtime story
Where kisses don’t hurt
I am touched by the ground
and the darkness grants me comfort
in a trolley up to heaven
you kiss me like we are in danger