skimming the surface

Bronx baby
switched at birth
not really but so it seemed
and so she wished
as father said she’d never been happy from the day I was born

Long braids
and onion rye
and the teacher who never
should have been leaning against the
gym wall.
I wasn’t aiming for her head.
I wasn’t!

I made four
which dropped to three
then back to four…
then back to three.
Forever after, I’d say.
But she might tell another story

hollow doors really are hollow
and objects in motion
tend to stay in motion
and when it doubt, keep your head
down, pillow up, shutters ready,
and wait for the light of day.

the voice said it, but the bulging red veins
served as punctuation.
So I skipped along…
and French and gym and science and all things that weren’t taught
by the teacher who thought i wasn’t good enough for her son.
I showed her.
Balance has never been my strong suit.
1980 may have provided the best early clues

we moved to Mars, perhaps in the nick of time
but the travel has hard on 16 year old who just couldn’t
understand why half needed to carry their saucers in their
back pockets and spit in a bucket they were allowed to keep under their desks,
while the other half wore little skirts and love standing on the sidelines.
Mysterious place. Though my 16 year old self would probably use a different adjective.

Now what is it you know about me, really, that you didn’t know before –
before you had 5 stanzas about my childhood. What is it you think you know or thought you’d know if you asked me the question and obliged with a response? or was this really a gift for me?

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