Spring/Summer 2002 QW #54



Childhood Influences


before the cupola transplant
you wanted to let them into your world badly,
the lambent ones,
the seamless line of blood brothers,
the illusionless pen-captain
tapping his chiseled teeth with the half-eaten
doodle-scepter of your childhood.
how you needed that masterful crayon!
your father, he died in a freak icestorm incident,
even he could not zap life back
into the woman wearing too-short pants.
she said, your left arm is longer than your right.
she said, you went and made a mess of things.
you must have grew up in a waxcave, she said.
and it’s true, you are an orphan of sorts.
you want to share with her the bonecollar myth,
how death happens in reverse
and it’s a bummer
to live past the age of twelve,
sit her down and pet some pallor
back into the high peak of her cheekbone.
there’s a pup simpering in the rockgarden.
a small cat drags against your leg.
she watches your hand razor across the canvas,
crooks her charmed neck
like a good vampire victim should.
a little to your left, you say. there.
now hold that pose.