ghetto son

[I was commssioned by a dear friend to write a poem with the same title as one I wrote when I was in middle school. I vaguely remembered the original, and could recall the first line. This last line of this re-envisioning is an interpolation of that first line.]

just hold him, mama.
life has loved him
like fist
cracking chest cavity.

life has splayed him
pentacle-wide
gaping sorrowmouth
all his flowers poured out.

try to hold him.
if his ribcage ain’t
razor blades yet.
if his teeth ain’t
turned bullets.

might be, though.
this world is quick
to prick that sugar maple skin
and bleed our boys for sap.
swift to swipe their laughter,
leave bombs behind.

just try.
and if your arms ache.
if he weeps you wet
as rupture amniotic.
if his arms are flesh
against your back.
then there is hope.

but if you taste gunpowder
on his promises.
his eyes arsenic and arson.
do not reach for the weapon
he’s become.

it’s all right
to save
yourself
for love.

let him go, mama.

till he finds
his way
to death
or some other
silence.
he’ll be out
in red night
spinnin’

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s