NaPoWriMo #5 (04/05/2016)

gravelly and tilting to the south

we crept out [the] ragged screen door

hiding in the locker room during PE

suitcase lined stealthily with condoms

a plastic baby skeleton that hung from a tree in the front yard, a relic

–one design for killing

it died, and we woke, shivering under holy baby blankets

Hitler lived wild under the stove

attacks the bile ducts of the liver

Thanksgiving dinner at a twenty-four hour diner

defend me from our Spanish class

empty and the black wood began choking

I could feel her spine through blue pajamas

Jesus fuck I’m never going

she slept late, against the rasp of oxygen

Denn die Toten reiten schnell

pieces of our bodies in the dark corners


skin healed to pink shiny scars

the romance of what had taken my mother

we were not as beautiful as we were permanent.


*All lines taken from “Charades” by Kendra Atleework in The Best American Essay 2015


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