In green pen, the child ladders their wrist

to elbow, this the type of ritual that has no 

center like wilderness or a bluejay. This is

a type of measurement the way the wind measures

the grass or the child builds their boyhood

into a box of pine, now a box of pine made car.

The child in their father’s garage is not a monster,

shaving the dead wood to curve and blunt like a bell,

curling its skin until it snows, meaning the sand of the wood

statics on the floor like blood. No, the child is not

a monster, but they love this sand at their feet

and the brush of sting red when they lower their hand

into the etch of the wood like soap. They practiced boyhood

this way, their flesh made doll with perfect boy teeth

perfect boy collar perfect boy hair that parted

like an answer. They remember buzzing away their hair

in the kitchen, the smell of red sauce with the fragile

meat, the sound of a blade being lowered. There’s something

to this ritual, the planet of their head fragmenting

to the floor like clearing your throat or an impossible

distance. And sweeping it away. Their father was home

then, their father trusted this boyhood as a hand trusts the 

thistle it grips. Their father held the razor

to their head and of course the father drew blood

like a carnation or a baptism. The child didn’t know what

the blood was evidence for, though the child remembers

one night in the forest when they learned to build

a campfire. The child is not a monster, but here

they are with an axe in their hand, severing the wood

from itself like a prayer. The stars hiding in the far film

of the sky. The same branches tossing with notice.

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