Hold That Thought, by KSwift
I can see rapids tearing your lips, throat,
belly, you didn’t know
then that they were waiting
for the feed to be ground so that they could shine your cloven hooves and smooth your hairs soft, and
wonder at your warmth, and follow you home so that you would naively offer them tea
for them you have grown heavy with function.
it’s bruising your knees.
There above the chipped porch paint
is a narrow window
they come through when they are starving.
Pour her a drink or two now and it could mummify her youth, before the acids spoil her brains and the
decay knocks you back to the dump site.
what child knows these things?
There is no beyond her years, just beyond her means
and now marching to market with a bell on her pulse, what is beyond “beyond her years” but the
mediocrity of being made to groom oneself?
I met a girl when I was 19 and I like to think I would dream of her if I gave up sleep aids
and she reminded me of using the meat slicer at work and the fascination of phantom pains as I
remembered Children of the Corn, when I was 16
I too led a death cult.
Cut to the library at the Scholastic book fair, year 009
I make myself lightheaded trying to breathe as unnoticeably as everyone on the carpet around me
at some point they added desks
and I never sat with anyone any good.
and I couldn’t shake the feeling
they were all reading my mind
and secretly laughing at me.
Later I grew up and learned how to laugh from my head in a way that didn’t give me headaches and I
realize children simply find any number of things to laugh at, it’s amazing, I must have been born at the
overslept and missed the ritual, well now I’m here
and my desk is full of ugly plastics.