third grade autopsy
i liked to take apart hallways. paper clips
& as ragged worm garden. lips were
a secret talismen. we talked
to bathroom ghosts & in the mirrors
found versions of our oldest selves.
to be close to the linoleum is to be
close to god. holding communion wafers.
lighting candles. my fingers often
turned into chimney swifts,
flying off to find their consecrated towers.
in the dark, i summoned demons
& named them after myself.
taking the dull kitchen steak knife
& severing the day open as wide
as if could go just to look at its organs.
soft planets in the galactic water.
a pear. an apple. boyfriends with buttercups
in their hair. the tree that fell.
branches were strewn in the grass. we looked for
our long lost limbs. to be alive was
to break open every single tooth.
bloodied little veins. a boy liked to follow me
into my caves at night & say,
"pilot pilot pilot." i cried. the boy
was not there but his tongue was,
lapping water from a dripping faucet.
i never meant to grow older. i never meant
to become so much less wise. it is like
that gift disapated day after day.
nesting my hands. kissing a boy
with curly hair & watching as he turned
into a dead deer. side of the road.
headlights like thrown dinner plates.
a father in the basement with the boiler,
knocking on the pipes
all through the night.