you came bearing plumes of plums plucked
from the curtails of your childhood,
the dreamy milky white substance
that tinges the corners of your memory
and runs down your cheeks while you sleep.
you swallow eight spiders a year
but you refuse to try the apple pie
your grandmother made because
it reminds you too much of
creamy grey skies and a smile so wide
it opened car doors.
when you run
you are trapped by the echo
of your feet slamming the pavement
and in those two second breathing intervals
you think of all the ways you could die
and wonder which one you’ll succumb to.
Saturday morning visits to your cousin
were always littered with plastered grins
and scripted dialogue that gave you
tooth aches to drip out of your mouth.
everything was tinted in sugar
until it was tainted with cocaine
and half your memories are blurry
like the way smoke from a bonfire
curls and distorts everything
into alternate dimensions
where your fingers trickle
down your sides before resting
on your hips with a sigh.
you used to write but now all you do
is wander and
sometimes the way light tickles itself
makes you want to caress your computer keyboard
but all you can ever manage is a single letter
and a conjured thought of your mother whispering
to relatives that she’s not sure anyone will ever love you
before you retire to
foggy daydreams and lying mirrors that
trap your scars.
your wrists tell the stories you can’t remember
of compound fractures and crunched fingers
broken like brittle bird wings;
in biology class, you learned birds breathe through
their wings and all you could think was how
if you were a bird, you’d
your waxy wings no longer work, Icarus,
the sun doesn’t love you anymore.
and you thought you’d never learn
what it means to be alive.