They chew their nails until skin
Is sore and red
Shiver at the touch of their mother’s hand.
Remember Haiti’s heat?
His wide-open laugh. Square shoulders. Were they
Half in love with them?
Or with the image of the man
They could someday be?
They scratch the back of their neck.
Are their eyes tired
Or are they making up excuses again?
Are they depressed?
Or are they making up excuses again? Because poetry
Opens them up like their last love’s voice did.
Like something sharp down the middle of their wrist.
Feeling nothing is better
Than being gutted,
Like a fish skin.
They drink Coke like it’s the last reprieve,
It’ll wake them up
To the holy, to the worth it,
They’re worried they’ll never see.
They watch the Boys and Girls
Be who they’ll never be.