imagined letters from a half-grown-up

content warning: sexual content

i. to the bush-man

are you a bush  really     or a tree
books mark you bush
but i blink and see pumpkin tree
with boughs of yellow

i always hear that plants are green
maybe there’s color smeared on my lens

do not be so proud, pumpkin tree
          you are small    fat    ugly

you sit across the street and sneer
prim on trim cut grass

i take my bone-thin dog out to play
                   and you
       turn    up     your    nose

 

ii. to the prophet

her house has wheels

its driveway is long
dusty  gray  deserted

i watch the wheels turn and i
think of my grandfather
he is dusty   gray   deserted

i think     she lived here
gave me a holy book once
i colored on its pages and
it taught me the glory of god
or   it   tried
couldn’t wash the steam from
between my thighs

my grandfather likes to preach to me
he knows i’m a sinner
i want to hold his head against my chest
and let him know it’s o k a y
his god has not yet deserted me

 

iii. to the street children

i broke the swing
i’m sorry

soft babyskin wood
flies back and forth above the
dirt
tied to the porch of the big house
our guard from the forest
not letting it
touch   our   homes

i broke it
but maybe
it was mine to break
our chain swing was put up by the sky
    when i was tiny-toed
    before you were born

but now i’ve grown
my weight piled high
the chains creaked
and      snap
the new street children
will not know my swing

 

i didn’t mean to hurt anyone

 

iv. to the dollhouse.

i remember when they built you
shining new on my old ground
sweet cake walls
white iced windows
my gingerbread house
you liar

you told me you could be my home

there was a boy living in there

he liked my underfed ribs
invited me in and
touched me
in these sickly sweet walls

i was too young
i did not know that smell was
alcohol
i did not know why his sister
touched herself
there

 

v. to my homeground.

i don’t know what
color
my house is
girls said it was purple
but boys said it was brown

i will lie in the grass
where my daddy once stood
and i will pick weeds
and tell myself they’re flowers

broken dishes rattle on
windowsills
and our eyes are sinking in

street children die day by day
and i can’t find the courage to come home

is this house disappearing
or am i

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