adverse childhood experiences
i am learning about the ways
a piece of red yarn can pass through
the needle's head unharmed. disbelief.
my heart takes a biplane
to a treed peach, ripe as origami.
do you mean to tell me
all children didn't run
to hide in piles of straw?
curl to the size of a pistachio
at the thought of their names?
i used to weed the church garden
with angels tangled in my hair.
night feel like a dropped book.
scraped my knees on the promises
of my father's teeth.
eating candy wrappers for their sweetness.
rain leaking in from a hole
in the ceiling. the world seemed suddnely
like rotting fruit. catching flies
& befriending them. brevity.
suitcases full of shoes. the bus station
where bodies arrived as dolls.
i played alone to the sounds
of ghosts asking for turns
with my stuffed animals. two girls
running up & down the hall.
fear of drowning in the bath.
monsterous rocking chair.
dull steak knives. i went days
without anything but angel chatter.
choruses of dandelions. i joined them.
became the lovelist weed.
ragged hair. dirt under my nails.
my mother with a pitcher of iced tea.
brother, chicken breast born,
needed so much snow. i'd go
to the top of the mountain to scoop it.
returning resentful. why had no one
asked me how i wanted to live?
walking my goldfish down
to the creek. telling him
he would be better off up stream.
filing cabinet gills.
angels perching there too.