In the beginning, there was a boy
who touched me as he shouldn’t have.
His hands claustrophobic—a plot
of cattails on the water’s black silt.
We all have a story like this,
innocent in its setting, nefarious
in how it stays
spurred into our bones as we grow.
I think I knew I was a boy
when the boy touched me.
I don’t know what this says
about me or the world
but I know that boy is now a violent man
with a large collection of semi-automatic rifles.
Some things are so absolute. The point
at which rain becomes snow. The way
fruit eventually spoils
even under unblemished skin.
If I make a metaphor of my body,
it’s a desert. One part longing,
one part need, the rest withstanding. Of course
I would prefer to be thirsty
for nothing. I’d rather do so much
than be touched in this angry dark.
Violent men want me to be a violent man.
Or they want me dead.
What a privilege to have an option.