Sand & Silt

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.

No Funeral

You mourn the girl I was / as if I killed her, / as if I left her / in a field somewhere, / shipwrecked in the dry grass –

Quick Change

There is body in the coat closet in the hall by the front door, body under the bed in plastic bins, a pile in the garage by the recycling bin.