i wrote on only the first page of notebooks
then crumpled the inky sheet
to stuff tangled letters into my mouth.
swallowed & laid on my back.
i looked up so hard i bore a hole
through the ceiling of my childhood bedroom.
watched the clouds go zoological.
my teachers made paper airplanes
of my stories & sent them out the window.
in the school yard i took stick to dirt
& wrote my name over & other
just to cross it out.
one line through the middle.
i lead seances in the "handicapped" stall
of the elementary school bathroom.
made sigils on stickie notes.
pretended to be smoking as i breathed
out the sharp january cold.
sharpie hearts & stars drawn
on the back of each hand. i wanted
to feel perminant. found a dead bird
under the boy's tree & held
a little funeral complete
with dandelions. when i stared
at chapter books the language
turned to escalators-- each letter
sliding across the next.
bought dollar store peanuts
to feed to park squirels
each of which i named & had
a back story for. louis left
the circus. eleanor used to be
a cobbler before she was tranformed
by a witch. watched the squirels
crawl back into their hollows
worshipped salt & microwaves.
licked my fingers & spoons
& plates. walked out in the yard
at night & kept secrets between
me & the moon. got obsessed
with constellations & then wept
when i couldn't find them.
if anyone called for me in that dark
i would hide & say,
"i am no one at all."
burried my poems at the foot
of the yard's big evergreen tree
next to goldfish graves & spare stone.
kissed them goodnight
& promised to return in the morning
with new adjectives
& ways to say "blue."