sweet sixteen

Talking of tremors

she has a green

bathtub. One day

I filled it. One day

I put old rose petals

in it ,she said she

didn’t mind. Even

when they begun to

rot. She used to

lie in it and watch

me brush my teeth

and when I spat

she looked a

little harder said

why do you get

such a long string.

I’ve had a lot of

mucus ever since

I was sixteen.

She sung me sweet

sixteen in her

green bathtub. I

couldn’t bare to

join her. She

looked at me in

the mirror. My

insides curled open

like flowers. How

they tremble in the

sun. In the rain.

but then she gets

up. Says. Get

these petals off

of me. I have a job.

I have to go.

So I pick them off

gingerly as she

brushes her teeth.

I drain the bath.

Clean it too. Lay

inside ,clothed.

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sweet sixteen

garden

tell me something about war

and how it is necessary and i will split like the skin of boiled tomatoes

the bandage sounds like this:

it depends on your definition of war

tell me something about violence

and how it is necessary

how you held boy head in your hands

first like lover, planting kisses

then twist of neck into spin top

like murder

then like mother, kisses like goodbyes

like planting roses

i think you are all

and so am i

some see it as a tall, gulf of nothing, but we see its thick and sturdy

like neck and torso

they feel like screaming might fill its empty

you and i take out our hands and choke it

it is already full and brimming

and everything must come out

some like to think we are not gardeners

but we know we are gardeners

planting love and horror in the same beds and sorrow at the end

and besides

garden is just another word for battlefield

garden

when i was small i did not have friends i had flowers and plants

the hardware store was like a kingdom with all of that stretching up

WAREHOUSE

i was afraid of god and kings

tiny feet would find themselves outside with the plants

PLEASE CAN I GET A ROSE DAD I PROMISE TO WATER IT EVERY SINGLE DAY I PROMISE I PROMISE I PROMISE

my fathers eyes are like a graveyard

no

PLEASE I WILL TAKE CARE OF IT

he picks it up and gives it to me, buys a small watering can

in the car ride home i hold the rose close

WE ALL REMEMBER BEING TAUGHT ABOUT CARBON DIOXIDE AND PHOTOSYNTHESIS BY THAT TEACHER WHO HATED US

holding fast and close i breathe out towards the rose, my sister asks what i am doing

giving the rose some carbon dioxide

what i should have said was

trying desperately to form a symbiotic relationship with the plant so if i kill it by accident i will die too and learn my lesson

the rose died within a week

when i was small i did not have friends i had flowers and plants