1. a dream about a boy & his bicycle, which is red, & coated in winter & in frost. a dream about a boy with freckles trailing his hands like layers of bad teeth. a dream about a boy whose bones match mine, but i can’t love him. 2. more than anything mother likes to sleep. second to that she likes having a body that is much, much smaller than mine is. still there are times when i pretend that our sleeping is the same. her nightmares creep into her graveled skin the same way they creep into mine. she will keep sleeping, her bones will keep shrinking. what does she know about boys, about a boy? 3. this is the story of the family of deer that once lined the lawn of the house down the street from where mother & i live without anybody but walls white as the faces of monks. they lined the lawn for ten minutes, then were shot.
this is the story of a boy & his bicycle, & bicycle tracks that line the bodies of dead deer. a boy who doesn’t know how to cry unless there’s been a fire. a dream about a boy & his bike burning like penances, like ancient worlds. forest fires line my dreams. forest fires do not make me love people. battered dogs do not make me love people. there is a boy & a bike & he has a dog & the dog too has been bruised by flame.
4. how to cure: a dry mouth? how to cure: what has been lived in? how to cure: a fire? if only my mother could step out of her bed now. she would see me shivering with the skin of somebody who should never look like me.