Poem #33


I fell from a dock in the summer,
split my hand open like a ripened fig,
blood drip-dropping to ruddy the waves
while I gulped down salty red,
I swam to shore, hand raised
above my head, looking for my father
in a crowd of churchgoers who didn’t
stop to help. He flipped burgers,
sizzling in sun, didn’t kiss my boo-boo,
told me to keep the wound in water,
even though it was dirty so close to shore.
You’ll be fine. Stop crying. No stitches
required. First a puckered pink
now a white line crossed over
by hatchings like a seatbelt, as if a scar
could be strapped into one’s self, as if it had
anywhere to go in the first place.


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