if Dave has published, it is GOOD. Recommend JJ Campbell.
Behind me now
I play jump rope barefoot
amongst the tossed razors and syringes
and once I used a Ouija board to find out who he really was
inside of me.
I lost my echo
when I checked the pulse and found my shadow when I discovered that wine came in a box.
I caught a tiger by the toe once, and his teeth were like the needles I’d later fall in love with.
My mom would cut my peanut butter sandwiches into triangles
I would try to invent a potion that would make me a mermaid.
I could roller skate better than anyone else my age but when I turned tricks
everyone looked the other way
No one ever told me not to swim in the deep end and no one told me that I could never be a mermaid. These things you learn early in life
stick to you
Like the gum my cousin put in my hair when we all went to Six Flags.
I stood on my sand pail
and tried to hang myself with that jump rope once, but all I got was a scratched knee
and failure and sadness
that would stay with me forever
as I realized that sometimes there really is no way out.
Prisoners act like prisoners
and I feel like I should be singing the blues Put shackles around my ankles
and perhaps my behavior would make more sense.
I just wanted you to know
That I still want to be a mermaid
And that jump ropes
Ain’t good for a hangin’.