I was a block of ore until I was poured
into the mold of my mother. I am iron cast and cold.
I inhale and the oxygen makes me rust.
I am seventeen years old. I tell unimportant lies
about myself because it makes me feel guilty,
and guilt makes the days last longer.
I am afraid of dying. I am seventeen and my girlfriend used to be
a prostitute, but I am seventeen and I don’t care,
I love her and how she is a cup that holds me.
She has hair that fills my hands like a fountain
of root beer and laughs
when I tell her I love her.
I am eighteen and the surface of my mother cracks.
The flood of beer that pours from her shattered mouth washes me
into the street, and it makes me rust more.
I am homeless and a prostitute wears me around her neck
like a knife on a chain; I shelter between her breasts.
It is all i know of warmth.
Nineteen and she has eyes made of honey.
They stick to me. Our apartment is an anthill.
I am nineteen and my muscles march under my skin.
I pour kerosene into my hollow guts.
I tell myself that I will be a candle,
or a lamp, but I keep starting fires
when my cup overflows.
I am twenty years old.
I am only full of rust and when the flood in me moves
it is not breathing, it is my sewerpipe bones
telling lies to make the day longer. I am twenty years old.
I love her and we carry the same secret home at night.
I know she still fucks for money.
I am leaving her because she looks at me
with my mother’s eyes. The guilt sticks to my pipes.
I wash it down with gasoline, I am slick with gasoline,
I am burning down our house with my mouth.