Reach for the rabbit and all you get is the foot,
keychained and spent of luck, oblivious of kicking
as you’ve been kicked in the groin by adulthood
and gradeschool classmates alike. Softness yields
to steel-toed workshoes of tough kids like Rick
and Tony who never learned to aim higher.
The quickest route to victory best, and you
spitting blood (probably bit your tongue) and
seeing black and so you learn the hard way.
The way that pain tells truth, needle to the lobe,
direct and vivid. Softness yields to nothing lasting,
all flummery and bosh, sleight of hand,
hose that run, colors that run, amok in the wind
that blare through the small of every night,
pillow under your head ablaze and saturated
with wakefulness and possibly vermin. You
imagine their microscopic legs scaling you,
plated bellies grazing your ears now, your
cheek, now your eyelids– you’ve heard
how fleas drive for the eyes once in every
twenty-four hours to drink from your tears.
This is salt, and you scratch it in, search
for another cooler side. And for a moment,
before it goes stale, you imagine you fit,
tucked snug inside that top hat. You can hear
the audience’s howl and hunker down
where it’s dark and safe in here, for now.