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