You’re a grown woman now

with prison time for Something-To-Make-You-Feel-Better

and serious problems you air

like prayer flags adorning your entrance;

it is the first thing anyone sees when greeting you;

like you hope admitting them will

convince the wind that it’s fall and time for harvest,

carry them from your door, up the Rims and away from town,

but I knew you before your sex and gender did,

when you were a young boy, a good friend

of my brother

who told me about your dad hitting you.

And when I went to your house, the only time I went to your house,

I saw it myself

and reason now, that if I was there for two hours of

youthful pretend and saw him strike your back and put his hand

on your shoulder while you dripped quiet tears onto the ground,

declaring to your company that: I may hit my son but I love him,

there would have been many more times

where no guest was around

for him to perform to while you hid your face in shame


Your faded house out of sight,

just like any in the row

on your street with a dead end sign

the backyard’s stretch and the chain link fence

these dead ends just keep going and going