Page 72: I Will Never Hit Anyone Ever by Sarah Green

I Will Never Hit Anyone Ever by Sarah Green

Amanda doesn’t know she’s seven poets

All of them suffocated by their own mothers’ handbags hiding gateway drugs

Illiterate screaming from a room down the hall and a man whose silhouette isn’t

symmetrical with the floor

paces aimless authority and shuts her up with this thumbs in the grape skin light of 5am

Amanda is heavy and pissed so she is already up

crouching under the canopy institution with her bruised apathy and embarrassment just a

basement in her big feet

Locked facility mornings make her agitated because she is always the only one who

mistakes the volatile shower for a fountain of youth

We are always the only one

I go in there too sometimes, usually earlier than anybody when light’s just a sand you

step on

and my nipples look like eraser caps in that chamber, that bath of salt crimped cold

Amanda doesn’t come out for the longest time, so I imagine how she washes her hair with

milk, probably like the Egyptians, and I wonder if her mother would be proud of her for

brushing her teeth

Amanda is seven poets and all of them are dead now

She’s wet but mostly inside and thrashes down the hallway in a towel with the fuel

economy of a wagon

“God Save the Queen” plays low-lifed from my Walkman while I watch proxy of a

bedpost I lean on

and Amanda,

under-graduated and throbbing, bleeds her tempest into the skull of a small mouse girl

screaming

Bone claps like a coin in a crack, like kettle, like piano keys ripped from their guts

and a jawline watercolors a stream of hush on the floor

Broken legs of administration gathering around doorway, gathering around to save

someone because it always has to be somebody with a job

It won’t make Amanda a worse person if at least one of them has a degree, but we don’t

know that

Just

watch the bodies crop shadows against swelling dawn

Someone else with a job is making us all smell oatmeal, and the showers begin to buzz up

and down the hall

I slip into my biggest pair of pants to conceal my legs maybe broken too

Maybe hairy, maybe I feel like my face is too much of a metaphor for Lithium to do

anyone any good

And when I wear gray I look like a jaundiced old woman

I will never hit anyone ever

My heart peels for the rest of verses that don’t get to the point of her punch

Flossed barbed wire through my wrists to hold me above the pit orchestra that won’t stop

being violent

Won’t stop begging for a mother

I too, am begging for a mother

Amanda is seven poets

All of them showered, all of them with socks in their mouths and their fists full of empty

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