coddled children will look at him
see his drool, the strange shape of his mouth and head
they'll see his tiny limbs, limp and dead
and he'll look at them,
with what they think are dead eyes
but they aren't. no, no they're not; they are masterful spies.
i was a coddled child until the other night
when he leaned in to speak straight through me
and with his observance he nearly blew me, blew me right away.
"it's not his brain"
i had heard them say, i had heard myself say
a smile, a pat on the head should suffice and then just as soon go on
i don't know why i did what i did, or said what i said
but i reached into my bag pulling out trick after trick,
and his gurgling laughter creeped into my head.
we went on a walk then through the hall and outside
to see if his friend was tucked away in his parking lot
he wanted to play 21, i wanted to say no stay, don't go
i talked to him like i'd want him to talk to me,
not a carcass
not a shell
but a kid who likes music and being free.