when I was born, I had
nine lives left, I was bereft
of scars, delicate as fireflies
in a jam jar
(the kind I’d punch holes in the lid for,
the kind I’d bring indoors
and set on my bedroom floor as a fairy nightlight, until I got bored
and one by one they died silent as the pollination of fornicating spores.)
9 lives left, age: 2 months
but then one day daddy looked the other way and splash!
the baby’s in the *** and the ***’s still hot
(there are witches in the air but we don’t care)
looks like soup tonight! yum yum
third degree misery etched on her body,
one life done.
And nothing to show for all of her fun
but a twisted left arm and a ***** of a sun (burn)
One life down, eight to go, you know
because she’s a fox, which (if you peek over the ledge of your punitive box)
is like a cat. And that, as we know, means
nine lives, and that’s that.
well, eight now.
if you want, I’ll tell you how she (i) is (now) down several more.
worry not little one, fate always evens out
The second was me and a boy (THE Boy, if you know what I mean)
it would seem he and I had climbed two stories high
hand over foot over hand over foot over
the parking lot right up next to the sky
and then oh-
(breathe in, breathe out)
(the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout
down came reality and washed the spider out)
and there are
butterflies on the tip of my tongue and there is
a word stuck in my stomach.
he held my eyes just like I couldn’t hold
the pipe as I fell, right towards the earth between heaven and hell
now there are hot knives in my ankles and I think (I can’t tell)
(stop drop and roll)
yes I fell from the roof through the sky. No I’m fine.
just one more life gone, I saw it flash before my eyes in a short space of time
that was roughly
the shape of a stop sign, or maybe a wind chime, or maybe
it was the shape of the sunshine.
Whichever way, that’s two down, seven to go;
the next one I lost when I rolled off the road.
We were going seventy and
the love of my life was sitting next to me and
his skin was beautiful in its caramel coffee complexity and
There is air in my lungs when I should be history
but the SUV only bruised my knees as it rolled, glass shattering
pit-pattering over the pinwheel of perfect destruction
I felt myself decide that it was okay
if this was the end.
At least I’d go with my best friend, there’s some
good stuff. That, I conceded, would be enough,
I could die young
if who I was in that moment
could be the freeze-frame of my song,
the thing that’s left
after I’m gone.
Three lives gone, only five left-
the next one is casually snipped like a price tag
after a theft when I fell
from the banyan tree and flipped my pancake
(click-clack) like a jacob’s ladder
I should have broken my back.
As I fell I yelled in my head
there’s nothing to fear but fear itself
(till you’re dead.)
four down, five to go Indigo.
Here we go.
(to be continued.)