To Kill a Mockingbird

You must grow up too quickly. Taste arson
suddenly. Shoplift your mother’s heart by eleven;
but never tell her. Take up smoking
and remove her vodka splinter–
she didn’t mean to shatter
your trophies, or forget your birthday cake
with a fifth of a bottle.
So strip that expectation and shoot it
like the tin can heroes from your bookshelf.
Like the moon that cursed at you
from the railroad tracks. Love a tick
bravely. Watch as it devours itself.
Reduce snowflakes to a number
as you trash a sandbox with beer cans.
Shrink a kaleidoscope to grey,
with the shade of your hand,
accept the slap of a nosebleed,
and touch the truth: we’re here
only to keep the rest of us warm.


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