Small Sides

Not silver needle, not jumping black blood,
not small white spot of fire inside her elbow, but something,
something made her crumple every time.

They had leapt in front of her car for years,
waiting in the night to surprise her with their deaths.
She kept us from watching Bambi,
said it would give us the wrong ideas.

Ten years of mornings, battered shoelaces through the
same number of eyelets in the sneakers, same distance
from black canvas ankle to red star to rubber heel.

She sat in the half-dark, waiting, hearing the popcorn
around her. Only when the last lights dimmed
would she joyously allow her hand to dip
into the red-striped paper bag.

The oral surgeon sat back, his eyebrows
perfect tildes. "Your teeth are fine," he said.
"Just two years too young."

The bunsen burners had given them an idea.
They walked to my seat at the lab bench, brandishing
yards of rubber tubing. "Witch."
I could hardly believe
the word I was hearing. "Make sure you
clean up after," said the chemistry teacher.

She opened the pink plastic box,
saw erasers shaped like citrus-colored stars.
She held one up to the light, knew it was stupid,
and put it in her mouth.

tagged by P of what possessed me. P, please remind me to never attempt this again.


Abby said...

if i understood 1, maybe even three, of those things, i deserve groupie status, right?

mommmy just wandered out of the bathroom with a face mask on, squinting and asking me if i understood what you're going on about.

"I didn't say GOING ON!"

Kate Horowitz said...

Abby, you get full groupie status, although I'm not sure it counts because it's not like you collected this knowledge by sifting through my trash or building a shrine to me and my amazing poetry.

But you know what? I don't have any other groupies. Sure. You get full groupie status. I'll even upgrade you to groupie PLUS.

P said...

Wait, wait - I'm a groupie too!

I think you did brilliantly. I still want to pop pretty smelly things in my mouth. It takes all of the self control I can muster not to eat the rose glycerin soap.

Anonymous said...

I love love love love love this one. lovelovelove.

it is so beautiful, all the little snippets. Also the ending is perfect.

Anonymous said...

it rises and falls with fear, confusion, secret rituals, wisdom, and reality.
The ending is the bow on a package.

Anonymous said...

reading your thoughts is good. A day without a new peice is a disappointment.

 photo copyright.jpg
envye template.