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Softboys

Poetry & Prose | October 26, 2015

when they asked for your time and place of birth

i lied. broken stereo clocks glow halogen

in backseats of minivans, and crimson

drips down thighs all the same. you came

out of me with inkpool eyes wide open. i fell

asleep on a highway overpass

cradling your buddha head in my hands.

 

six years pass. only my wilting hourglass body

silently measures time. i am cracked

fingernails, brassiere falling from sharp shoulder

blades. but i’ve come looking bright-eyed just for you.

“mama, who’s left their wristwatch

on the counter, whose pocketknife lays

underneath the mattress?”

shh, never mind, never mind. withdrew you

from catholic school the next morning

when you puked all over

the nativity scene.

 

dusk falls, and this waning moon casts floodlights

on the slums of our eden. you tell me,

“all i want is to fall asleep

in a revolving chain of humans

where everyone is both simultaneously

holding someone and being held.”

i know about the hollowness of carcinogen

mornings, searching for dandelion

between sidewalk cracks. oedipus blinded himself

with pins, but i birthed you with inkpool eyes

starless as the afterlife.

            now you are the only one

            carving notches into my bedframe.

twenty two years later, you still need me here

to tell you,

“sometimes even the clouds shiver

from the wetness of their own

stomach fluid.”

 

you look like a baby warthog

suckling on my chest. and when dawn

rises, i will part my dirty hair

down the center while you stare

at my pale, freckled slabs of flesh

washed in northern lights,

wishing you could come back

into the womb.