Round - Poem by Tom Sleigh
Somebody's alone in his head, somebody's a kid,
somebody's arm's getting twisted—a sandwich flies apart,
tomatoes torn, white bread flung, then smeared with shit
and handed back to eat—I dog dare you, I double dog dare you...
Somebody's watching little shit friends watch little shit him
climb to the crown of a broken-down cherry tree
and throw cherries at him: now somebody's pushing
somebody into a sprinkler, everyone's laughing, everyone's shouting
in that frenzy when a buddy's gonna get hurt,
gonna get mad, gonna swing and swing from the top of the sky—
somebody's falling through trees shedding leaves,
October light you can see through,
somebody can't read the menu, can't find his glasses,
can't remember most mornings his best friends' names—
somebody's racing just ahead of what it means to be "it,'
porch lights coming on, trees jumping out at him,
and that nameless smell, smell of the highschool lunchroom
mingled with formaldehyde when somebody does dissections,
frog legs strangely human under the fine-edged scalpel,
keeps making somebody waken, not certain anymore
of what window, which door, voices fading to a spectral
whine in somebody's ears, eyes calm, clear, the starpoint steeple
piercing somebody's brain moving alone through mist, darkness, rain,
somebody's eye's, somebody's mouth cooling, hardening to bronze.
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