Haley. 3

She sat on the wooden bench

Her rain boots dangling

Water dripping

She looked at me for an explanation

So much grief

devastation in a pink rain coat

“Do you want to play with me, Haley?”

I felt smaller than her

Patronizing and empty

I hope she didn’t feel that too

“No” she said.

Her eyes pooled and I drowned

Looking at her for a feeling I could discuss

We are both gasping for air.

Her mom comes

Looking better than I expected

But I’ve never been on a first name basis with it

The closest I’ve been is pink ribbons and commercials

I ask her how she’s feeling

Afraid to pry

Afraid to seem careless

They walk out of the classroom

And I stay on the bench with that little girl

Longer than I mean to.

Cory. 3

He screams at me

A lion cubs mouth

Of silver teeth

Like bullets he’s chewed

One day he came back from the dentist

And he showed them to me

Smile as wide as the horizon

Beautiful, but

Red

He spit at me

Exchanging Saliva for syllables

I grabbed his hand

Trying to be gentle

But he refused.

He screamed

Then walked near me

I saw tears that seemed like family

Familiar and consistent

I told him his anger was understood

But not tolerated

His Batman shoes were at my knees

He yelled.

Shiny teeth.

He put away his power

So I put away mine.

And while he breathed in between his tears

I remembered where his power came from

And I held his hand.

A Nightmare

You have your grandmas face

it’s beautiful

And haunting

Like your shadow

Betraying you in the dark

Like a tree

Something beautiful

Transformed into an illusion

A monster.

When the moon shares its light

Sometimes when you laugh

Her chin appears on your face

And it scares me

Cause her blood is in you

Deep red with a veiled purpose

My sweet girl

With your grandmas blood

That craves for a monster.

A nightmare.

M.G.B

Your lips

Look like something I could float on

And when u laugh

That dimple winks at me

As if it knows I’m waiting for it

And if I’m close enough

I can hear your heartbeat

A rhythmic melody

A Smooth and consistent lullaby.

And your hands

Textured and thoughtful

Creeping up my thigh

Just enough to get warm.

I let them stay there long enough

And then I push them to their destination.

So you can explore me in detail

And turn me into a poem.

Titans Hand

I feel myself crumbling

By force

Of a weight that feels like a titans hand

By a burden I’ve given myself

I am atlas.

I watch myself

In the mirror

And there’s questions in my eyes

I am too embarrassed to answer

Even when I’m alone

I’m insincere.

I cry.

A haunting low wail.

Quiet enough to mean something

Not loud enough to share.

I hold my knees as tight as I can

This is how I keep it together.