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.