pillowcases rest
with nearing expiration dates.

essentially, the moment
when a sibling or cousin
finds himself in your thinking spot
and wants to know all reasons
for your laughter when he returns home.

hot and clumsily forward,
asking if you’ve got movies.

I am twelve years old
and my toes still sting
from mornings ago
when the dog’s nose bled
onto a shrew’s deafened ear.

explaining to my father
that I didn’t corrupt the hard drive.

you laughed when he told you
about certain rules
and despite your never having drank with them,
they existed like sermons
delivered by your favorite priest.

I had slept on nothing more
than life goals that would never be financed.

but somehow,
when rules came to conclude
that you didn’t love her
and she hardly knew your name,
I was told once again of my doings.

thinking I was pregnant
when the dog only licked my face.

I sat in the car,
told not to speak of dieting
as I bit into an Oreo
and I stared at the steps
leading to the withered Justice of the Peace.

contemplating whether it would be right
to judge your collection of girls just a year older than myself.


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