toy chest

in the middle of a serious i go to find
where the toy soliders lay down to pretend to be dead.
once, i threw a brick at car window 
& the world caved in right there. i ran away
on doll-girl legs. hid inside a sweet tooth
until it rotted out & i was all alone in a sea
of lincoln logs. is everything a little bit about
conquest? what is taken from who? 
how the taking becomes a way of life. 
i remember stealing a friend's stuffed animal 
at a sleep over. how i hid that stuffed monster 
in the bottom of the toy chest & in doing so
the toy chest became a coffin. came to visit
& pay respects, saying, "i cannot play with you."
i was terrified at myself for what i'd done. 
my friend would say, "i wish i could find that stuffed monster."
& i would not blink at all, just listen & nod.
toys do have a way of wandering away & becoming 
boyfriends. i once had a pocket knife who knocked
on my window until i gave in & let him take.
i guess "let" is what we say when we want to pretend
we had agency over how we were taken from.
a pocket knife can be a toy as can a bb gun
& a lawn mower & a wooden spoon & even
a jar of animal bones. i rooted in the chest
for a mirror. for a plastic sandwich to take
to school when i had no lunch. pretending to chew.
have you ever pretended to chew? you can 
almost taste exactly what you want to. 

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