Boy, born covered in blood—
(Boy because phallus, bullet holes
for eyes; the color of target practice silhouettes: boy. Between his
parents’ complexions: boy. Boy beneath Bible’s thumb. Boy baby-
sat by wooden ruler used for beatings of the backside. Screwdriver
lodged in the socket of his eye: boy. Crybaby by reflex: boy. Big-
brothering another the color of target practice silhouettes: boy. Big-
headed boy. Big-nosed boy. Boy: teeth misbehaving, acting outside
the bounds of braces. Boy tagged girl by birth name. Boy with drug-
dealing cousins with no names. Boy wearing bloody leather gloves.
Suburban boy. Kids’ fingers in his barbed wire hair: boy. Biting his
tongue red, so red it’s almost black: boy. Boy trapped between black-
board and blacktop. Boy burning through big books with next-time
fire. Boy: black eye on history. Boy: black-eyeing history in his own
mind. Boy with a broad beef opting for the baked chicken over fried.
Boy broadcasting blacked-out pro wrestling pay-per-views from the
basement. Boy bumped against locker bank by a bully and a bully.
Boy backing down like a bitch. Talking white: boy. Chalk-kneed boy.
Boy who forgets how to cry. Boy clutching black baseball bat. Boy
crowned criminal by cocked back baseball caps. Without best friend:
boy. Boy blessed with baby fat still. Boy big-brothering sisters the
color of target practice silhouettes, each a parent’s complexion, not
between. Boy: short. Short-tempered boy. Hoop-shooting boy: alone.
Boy tuned into BET. Boy in velour. Boy in big tees. Boy in deep blue
denim. Without belt looped in: boy. Boxer shorts showing: boy. Feet
too big: boy. Rocking Timberlands, untied laces in: boy. Boy in the
shower until shriveling begins. Boy with pornographic memory: big
booties abound, brain buck wild. Boy bucking the wrong trend, with-
out waves in his hair. Below-the-belt hairs in need of trim: boy. Both
hands breast-bound: boy. Too embarrassed to buy Trojans: boy. Boy
with bright future ahead. Banging rough rhythms inside his head: boy.
Battling blues: boy. Beaten blue: boy, brother. Baby sisters who love
him: boy. Boy trapped between his parents like a chicken bone to pick.
Boy balancing toothpick on his bottom lip. Boy splitting smooth-shaven
legs apart in secret. Boy, but briefly fly. Boy, but briefly live. Boy lost in
the blink of an eye. Boy shot down by boy)
with bullet holes for eyes.