Nature Boy in Silicon Valley

Naked, Apollo was reading while feeling the breeze

up in his tree-house as I was doing in mine.

 

When the older kids found him they circled the trunk chanting

Hey Nature Boy! Hey Faggot!

 

while tearing apart his sister’s Barbie dolls, fighting over the pieces,

ammo for their new slingshots.

 

The heads flew best, blonde comets ending up tangled in the branches

or impaled on the bark.

 

They stole white stones from his mother’s garden and nailed him, repeatedly.

The branches broke his fall and body

 

twisted and unconscious on his neighbor’s lawn.

Everyone scattered. I climbed down after dark.

 

A month later, before the family moved, his father chopped down the tree

and uprooted the stump.

 

For years, sawdust and needles dressed the street, the sidewalks,

my bedroom floor.

 

These pills do nothing. I’m still waking up at night, sometimes to collect the dust                             

that my feet and legs become,

 

trying to mold the dried pith into feet, a boy, a bird, but never fast enough

before my hands dissolve.

 

 

 

                                               

 

 

 

© Robert S. Pesich, all rights reserved. This poem first appeared in the Spring 2012 edition of Porter Gulch Review