None of them are ours

Hatcher Grey

after Richard Siken 

I.

A birthday party. A nest of carpenter bees

under my porch. Tell me our history. 

About the dry grits like castrated stingers 

on the linoleum floor & tell me the story right 

this time. Tell me again

how I’m a weapon in the women’s restroom & I’ll tell you 

about the gun taped under the passenger seat of my first boyfriend’s car 

& how it did nothing 

when he forced his body over mine 

like a reflection. 

II. 

Cigarette burns rise like drowned flies

on the skin of my left arm & I know history. 

I lived as a ghost for eighteen years. 

I watched as, in his car by the lake, 

moths with wings like cellophane

devoured my prom dress. 

III. 

Tell me again how I’m a brute & I’ll tell you 

about the boys like me. It’s a game like everything else - 

who can hold their breath the longest

in the backseat. Put your plastic 

cock in my mouth. If your car smells like his perfume

I’ll do anything.

IV. 

It is my birthday. Tell me again how everyone leaves

eventually. But I’ll wait around 

until the dead boy who looks like me 

stands on a lawn chair, 

in the middle of the party 

to ask if someone, anyone

will take him home. 

Hatcher Grey is a senior in college studying fiction. He likes vintage stores, big windows and his favorite Joni Mitchell album is Court and Spark. Hatch hopes to write novels and own a dog sometime in the future.

©2018 HighShelfPress. 

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