finding the light switch

when they turn off the light you are still small
& your arms are too short to find the switch

you take walks but never cross because
on the other side there is a bus shelter
that someone’s smashed & the last time he saw
you were just an infant

even when your cheekbones are mirror enough to be his
in his eyes you will always be a child

when the stranger asks why you are sad
you pull from your spine all the rocks you have
saved to fill the chasm until the room is heavy
enough to drown out your mother’s screams
your face wet with your sister’s memories
holding their breaths to blow out the birthday candles
& with it, the church that has bruised your knees

so of course when they say you have his eyes
a part of you is terrified

when your arms finally grow enough to reach the wall
it is a miracle they stretch for in the doctor’s office
white-coat mouth opening to spill a switch
blade that slices the sun to set

at night you wake up
with a cry that’s siren enough to need saving
& for a moment the light is so blinding
you can’t help but laugh

23 thoughts on “finding the light switch

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