playground full of mothers

we are the sons
birdless / workish
thumbing safeties and noses
up into an acid rain

we are raised to superglue
cuts / wings
every exposed inch of feather
is red ruin / campfire marshmallow
two worms from one

we are raised to believe
in fancy lifethings like veils
curtains are shivering ghosts
closet doors are never closed enough

mothers fill our hands with instruments
yell at us to puff our cheeks
we put our lips to things we hope
to understand / open our lungs like an oven

we soon learn that everyone’s
bitten a nailbed bloody
and screamed every breath
at a running dog

***

Jeffrey Allen is the author of two chapbooks, Simple Universal (Bronze Man Books 2007) and bone and diamond (H_NGM_N Books 2013), and holds an MFA from Columbia College Chicago. His work can be found in or are forthcoming from The Bakery, Forklift Ohio, H_NGM_N, LEVELER, Pinwheel, RHINO, and elsewhereHe serves as the Poetry Editor for phantom limb.

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