I tied rows of
and made a raft
to float idyllically down
I followed it to the end,
after catching a frog.
After cutting my foot
on a thorn, and
watching the velvet blood
weep into the murky water.
I followed it all the way to the end,
where I stopped in a deep pool
outlined in roseless thorns and leaves.
There was a small waterfall and a picnic.
And one big blue crawdad.
In the same creek I caught two snapping crawdads,
put them all in one plastic container filled with water,
brought them home and watched them slowly stop moving.
I wonder how many families I destroyed that day.
I forever lost a jelly shoe with golden glitter, I
felt the loss tug at my heart as it floated away.
All I did with my ten-year-old boyfriends was French kiss and skateboard
by the blackberry creek and talk about our dead daddies.
We pretended to be
lovers by the window
in our bed, shouting
at the shadow people below us,
hoping to disgust them. You spit
on your carpet, like it was grass;
I stepped in it, and almost threw up.
We played in the hose in your summery driveway,
because neither of us had a pool.
The water sparkled on your fat stomach
and in your burgundy hair, but I was too skinny,
and too cold. Sunbeams weren't enough to heat my
malnourished instant potato bones. The only thing
I remember eating for breakfast
was plain almonds and water,
and you molested me in my own bed one day,
before we went out to play.
A son was taken in a black and white car
after a meth house exploded and I forgot
to return a couple videotapes to that woman
in the long purple skirt. One winter it snowed
enough to make a small, salt & pepper snowman in our driveway.
I loved the Spice Girls and Weird Al. I wrote the word "so"
a million times after "I hate you" when I was stuck
in my room alone. I made jewelry out of colorful beads and
fishing line until my little back & neck ached. We all shared chocolate
and she said she got more because she was bigger. We trekked like soldiers
to Safeway and walked back home in the dark with grocery bags cutting our
fingers open. She dropped a glass ball on my head. I skateboarded through the quiet funeral home. She drank on weekdays, and I put her to bed like a baby
so I could get up in the morning.
I cried while watching Titanic.
Crawdads dreamed of me
while I slept.
I wanted to read Michael Crichton,
but my mom wouldn't let me.
We wore shorts and tank tops
in the snow.
We were little masochists.
I made paths through the mess on my floor.
(One to the dresser and one to the door.)
I counted empty bottles on the bookshelf.
I found a wasp on a crystal in the garden.
I found my first maggots there too.
I found a secret garden in the garden.
I stared at the door for a moment,
reached up, and pulled
a key from the sky.
I opened the door and we
went inside. Someone was
collecting things in jars,
larva and slugs and dead
still butterflies. Needles
stuck through their abdomens
and we ran out of there,
smiling at our newfound glory.
And I never killed anyone.
I swear I never killed anyone.