DOG-EARED ON EMPTY PAGES #poetry by jay

cruel child, stops in his tracks and wonders—
what would happen if i crush the soul of this poor little buzzer?
no, he has to go! he’s a stinging hot mess of a threat!
it’s me against him 

in the dry sunlight/ beams bathing the garden
I still the heartbeat of the little bumblebee

silent winks and smiles/ soul-crushing-emptiness
living in the burn-holes of suburban nests
non-existence repelling happiness
yanks on the chain of my Uncle Bajis
pissed, he yells— 

then lights the firecracker!

i feel the neighbors glare as i run to fetch the ball and
crawl across musty grass/ muddy-socked/ soaked 
hiding my skin

i retreat to the tree/ i retreat to the crick
to the woods/ to the broken treehouse—

a shell abandoned, long ago.

eyes whispering/ winds of words swirling
trauma’s and graves/ shattered bits of promises
creeping-up my legs/ in-between an innocence saved 
by machinations of world wars/ with hails and waves and hideous histories

white flags and gray-bombers light the sky/ and red-powder mysteriously drops
like rain on playgrounds/ on lots/ on mobile homes and supermarkets
and—on arms of teens smoking cigarettes unseen
hiding from hall monitors/ and teachers wondering what the hell it is! 

like chicken-pox/ red—spotting—trailing
marking the arms of decades gone
dog-eared on empty pages of half-told histories of dime-store paperbacks
of betty-crocker recipes and playboy magazines. 

©Jay Mora-Shihadeh

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