If they eat your heart for breakfast, warm
with a heaping scoop of brown sugar.
If mouths full of too-big teeth jut
at cranky angles. If backpack bananas
mold, green furring overdue books. If
nails clipped on blue sofa
bite, pricking crescents,
tiny teeth in navy sea. If clothes shed like snakeskin
floors littered with skins.
If scalps are lit with glitter
or beach sand
If clean room means stuff indiscriminately
under bed, in closet, on top of dresser, and other
cluttery prepositions. If a perpetual shortage
of socks and underwear and polite.
If a perpetual abundance
of bedhead and sobsound and sass.
If a busted abacus
of red, yellow, and blue beads scatter, roll
under dusty couches, down a heater vent. If
sentences, conversations—by their
pop-ups. If toilet’s
clogged or left unflushed or seat’s
sprinkled with driblets. If they ask you to palpate
shoulder blades in case
wings are budding. If leggy bodies collide
with crayon grace. If you,
armfuls of rainbowed
papers and cardboard castles
and cereal box robots, sneak
past Bed time! Lights out!
to recycle. If all you offer: a thirdhand
piano, a ratty attic,
a slender cylinder of mercury. Cherry
angiomas. Myopic eyes. An odd number
of wisdom teeth.
spitty mouths and sour mint
breath, cold fingers deep
in your pulse pocket.