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Nov 2013
He was born defeated.
For eight months he sat at the delta to the world,
stargazing in amniotic fluid.
Sharing oxygen with another passing,
it back and forth like a gas mask in a chemical war.
how familiar he would become with the chemical war.
he did not propel into life the way everyone expected,
like the first, iron soldier to  dive
from a helicopter into the bush; all displaced rage
and camo flags waving behind him.
he was made to wait. made to drown just a little bit.
made to appear to the world a little blue.
no gas mask this time. just some weak lungs
and a bald head. not raven-dark and tumultuous like his six-minute predecessor,
but quiet, sullen and sentenced to a week in an incubator;
teaching him how to be alive.
maybe that was the first time he got mad. he more or less stayed mad for 17 years.
Found comfort in Peter Pan, a boy with no future- no past,
and juiced up men performing soap operas for a living;
sweating on their audience and quick to blow
a folding chair in to the enemies face.
The same pit-stomach drop of a terrible math grade,
And of realizing an idea if terrible halfway through completion-
Dazed at on knees at3am, half of the bedroom carpet ripped out
With a carving knife.
He beat up his other, left her trembling behind doors that didn't lock for years.
Full weight pressed against cheap wood, hoping this time it wouldn't open,
and leaving in the wake a girl-child, of 20 years-
terrified of testosterone and emotions.
There was the comfort in war movies; men with purpose, and the quirky
anime of a culture not his own.
Darker pagan books dotted pubescence. They sat like coffee mugs
filled with sludgy water, a place to dip paintbrushes in when it was time to start over.
Drugs come in folds. dealt like cards over the years- grappling for anything.
Their names ring out first like a memoir, then like a psych ward.
He would probably snort dirt if an escape from hardwood floored, leave spun
world in which he lived.
the place where dead batteries rolled around in for years in drawers and
tape never came off of wallpaper.
and the other one- the one who cut him off and turned
him blue at the very beginning; she's frozen too.
she stumbles through cities and ghettos and ancient worlds,
hoping to find something, anything that gives her a purpose.
Back to strong wind on 6th Avenue between classes,
Eyes sting and water against it but comforted by the smell of snow and
Bus exhaust. In that moment doing a good job. Being a trooper.
Swiping IDs that show a real, accounted for person underneath
The Goodwill feather-down coat and expensive Arabic textbook,
But in the quiet hours still grasping at straws,
at braids that don't quite work and flowers tangled
in hair that won't quite stay in place.
Singing with a voice a little too novice,
too rough. Looking dumb in sunglasses and boots.
She starts and quits things a lot.
gets exhausted. predisposed for enormous depression.
greek-tragady like.
****-yourself-to-spare-the-gods-your-being like.
finds glimpses of life in things, mainly when submerged in a daze of not-getting carded and  incense. Hair falls over pages of books, hanging one handed on an R to Queens,
or collecting cigarette butts from the side of the road
in the prairies of Dakota-land, helping kids collect enough tobacco
for their drunk fathers and zombie mothers to roll and smoke for the night.
She’s turning around in circles in grocery stores
Picking up food-stamp broccoli and sliced cheese in Harlem,
Going everywhere with sleep in her eyes and
wondering how others manage to exist.
but who is a killer from the start supposed to be?
Kiernan Norman
Written by
Kiernan Norman  Connecticut
(Connecticut)   
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