322 Readings


My center was soggy
coal composed of dead
hopes compressed in the peat
bog my chest was.
I kept my scrawny arms
folded in an X over it.

My corner of our double-wide
trailer was an altar I burnt
bad poetry upon.

I hated my teenage days.
We lived in the desert,
I wore black anyway.

I wanted out, didn’t
know out of what.

I carved what I couldn’t
say into my hair— dyed
often, awkwardly.

I experimented with, expanded,
my aptitude for boredom.
My parents probably
loved me from the distance

I imposed—I couldn’t know.
Couldn’t get a curfew
to break, couldn’t get kicked
out, or kick free

of their elastic love,
so instead refused
drugs, sex. I confused everyone
but God. He watched me

twitch like a fish who,
thinking it spits itself
through the quavering ceiling
of its bowl, midair sees
horizon, endless ocean.
Posted 06/20/13
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