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Danny C Mar 2022
I often wonder why he hated me,
what it was that drove him,
and what I had done to deserve it.
I sometimes think it was primal,
with nothing he could do
at such a young age, just born into this world himself.

But my mother remembers,
"He loved you," as she hands me
a picture, high exposure,
my infant body: half-asleep, drooling, smiling,
his toddler face: eyes crinkled, lips pressed upon my soft, fat cheek.
I don't remember that.

I remember the curled, fatty muscle of his hand,
landing on my shoulders, my arms, my back,
rock-paper-scissors with everything at stake,
over, over, and over and over.
No knuckles, never in the face.

That nasal-rushed snarl,
a barb around his tongue and
razorwire lips, and all their violence.
I remember learning what I was:
Stupid, weak, small—******* ******, shut up ******.

And yet at the park,
when Mickey pulled my hair and sicced his dog,
burying teeth deep into my right cheek,
I remember the weight of a body crashing.

Mickey, crying loud, runs home,
his hand over his face, bloodied and bruised,
and my brother darts away on his bike.
CW: Homophobic slurs
Danny C Jun 2021
Remember chocolate
when it's just out of reach
when it's stained into your warm fingertips
and clinging to your palette

Remember chocolate
when you give it to your firstborn
One morsel swooped over itself like a shoelace,
melting in their hands,
smeared across their lips

Remember the crumbling,
sweet velvet on your tongue,
the air through your nose,
and my hand in your hand

Remember the moment
has already passed,
as all good things before
So remember chocolate
when you go to the grocery store
Danny C Jul 2019
You'll find sparrows, my mother said
Not in the thick,
nor the deep dark
canopies of the woods

You will find them, in droves,
at the ends of tree lines,
busy, busy—always busy
whether in song or with a twig

You will find them in coves
perched upon the green vines,
busy, busy—always busy
calling out upon a sprig

They are small when alone
like me,
in the long, silent hours of my nights
But in the morning they are a chorus
reminding you of all the work yet begun

So, go, find yourself a tree
You'll find sparrows when you're done
Danny C Feb 2019
The only time I've ever thought
to step out in front of a bus,
and feel its treads roll me out
like gold—malleable and elongated—
if the pain I left you with
was that of citrus resting on your tongue:
bitter and cold and sour
like lemon meat
gnashed and torn.

No longer holding form,
or fitting perfect
in the cup of your palm
like my hand once did

In September you spit
and cursed my name
And walked home
in the middle of the night,
Maybelline blurred
all down your cheeks,
with the picture of home
upon a foundation of stone
you had hoped to build with me
Danny C Nov 2018
It’s not you I miss;
not your cherry red hair
or the crack in your voice
when you’d fight back tears
(You never did cry much)

It’s the loss of the feeling
of prairie fires in our chest
running with the wind in perfect time
like we made plans to run
out from under the sprawl
toward mountains and cedar trees
to find new languages
and faces we’d never seen

The world grows larger in passing time
and distance becomes relative.
To think we’d have made it to Nepal
to sit upon crystal white shelves—glass figurines
looking to build a new home somewhere overseas
Danny C Feb 2016
Biddle-ding deedling,
Hear the sound wind chimes make
Summertime rolling in
East from the west

Lemon wedge swirling round
Whiskey kept icy cold,
Tangy now, bittersweet
Soft words confessed
Danny C Dec 2015
I walked along the quiet streets we knew
from years ago when we were just sixteen.
We lost so much of what we had, between
the nights we shared when I was holding you
to aging slow and cold and dead and blue.
And I became a ghost inside routine;
now I'm an apparition barely seen.
And like a dream I prayed it wasn't true.

You said that you were sorry at the bar
because I built you up inside my head,
and you became an idol in my mind.
In twenty years (or more), when I live far
away from you, with words still left unsaid,
I'll love you still, with all we've left behind.
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