school picture day
i come with a face made of sawdust.
hands holding the fresh shavings in place.
everyone is wearing their funeral clothes.
bobbles & as many rubber bracelets
as they can. in a dream i am a popular boy
& bicycles fall out of my mouth.
i ask a girl with a face of knives
if there is anyway she'd like to trade.
she hesitates before turning around
& pretending she hasn't heard me.
we make a line waiting for the pinning.
one little push pin through our sternums.
there is a display case we will soon
be ornaments of. every year they tkae my picture
just to find the frame empty. the photographer
shakes his head & says i am very insubordinate.
but i cannot help what my body will
& won't allow itself to become.
then of course there was the year of fire.
my skull ablaze. the teacher said,
"why are you always so dramatic?"
i thought that too. i thought why can't
you just be want they want for long enough
just to take this picture. the saw dust starts
to blow away in a breeze. my hair
becoming a flock of geese. honking
flying away. the teachers scold me again.
my empty face. my glowing bones.
they tell me i will have to face the wall
for all of recess for what i've done.
i feel a little relieved. i do not know
how to become a picture
& i don't want to.