We ate red construction paper hearts
cut out in Kindergarten with safety scissors for
Felt tip ink bled through the edges
and pooled under our tongues,
dripped out of the corners of mouths,
formed the shapes: "I love you."
Written by porcelain doll
fingers with preschool letters,
shook out after paper plate macaroni and apple juice lunches.
I still can't control my hand when I write.
It convulses in epileptic seizures
and scribbles pictures and
shreiks over blotted lines,
illegible oil splattered on leaves.
Someone across the hall scores my thoughts,
Violins saw high notes, stab through shower
curtains and shred shot glasses
of vodka. Scratched up across dusty chalkboards,
Frozen notebooks shatter aganst the kitchen floor.
Forgot to scoop them into the dust bin... mom cried
when she stepped on their jagged edges with
her bare feet after work.
Stared out the window all night, muttered
and traced question marks on the frosted glass.
Red toe prints still archived on
Tracks crawl up the walls and over the
Microwave where I roasted my sister's toys,
Radiation therapy couldn't melt their pulsing tumors.
Plastic just wilts into puddles
to grow and ingest.
Frightened glances in the mirror can't hold you up in the shower.
Twist off arms and legs - the mutilaton dance...
Sorry, only holds off the inevitable
Until Christmas morning,
When saviors are born in salmonella stables and in rusty sinks,
And grandparents are found, breathless,
under the decorated tree.
Wrinkled faces droop down and get pasted to
the living room foor.
Outlines in the carpet for years,
Can't tell if they laugh or cry.
Nauseous laughing gas giggles,
choke in the dentist's chair,
and novicaine shots injected every morning before school,
So I can still force the paper pictures
down my throat,
and not feel the cultures grow under
Ruddy crayon landscapes,
Messy ballpoint sketches.
Light smiles glance at tattered scrolls taped
up on the beige refrigerator
next to grandpa's butterfly magnets.
Blue stick figures smile and live in burnt embre
houses with red chimneys.
Two crossed windows and a bush painted
orange because we ran out of
Walk down halls,
watch upturned grins fall into ridiculous frowns,
Strained grimaces burst seams of
Tired eyes strain and leak cleaning fluid,
Wash grease off of kindergarten faces,
Bury plants in the shade, out of the sunlight,
under mask of Pagoda roofs.
Away from the microwave radiation in the kitchen.