None of them are ours
after Richard Siken
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.
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.
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.
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.