To the fourteen autonomous regions of my body hairs,
welcome. Toes—good evening, are you blue? If the branch
of the crape myrtle split you lengthwise, femur,
would you thank it? You there, solar plexus, do you wince?
Do you really see yourselves like two anti-naval
mines long forgotten in the Black Sea, patellas? It’s true you’ve often
sweat, often ached for my sake. I admit it—once
or twice maiming you, wrists, to watch you purse into a scar.
Shins, I’m sorry for skateboarding. Liver, for Schnapps. Sphincter,
I’m sorry for my apathy toward lube. You and you and each one of you,
my girly, girly fingers: I am too much like you. Thin, malformed,
not reliable enough even to manage a square knot. Good evening,
little head. All yesterday I dreamt of emptying you. What it is
to be alive in the body of a fifteen-year-old boy in Wilmette,
Illinois and why are questions to be asked another night. I am asking
you tonight, on the darkest corner of Wilmette, in the very last seat
of a five-seat crossover, to put off your blame. I’m urging you
assume a new shape: be sweet. Because here, through the languid wisps
of old car smell and the bright teenaged moonlight and the fourth track
on Channel Orange like a chainsaw into the fragile bough
of my loneliness, comes Melanie from algebra.
Max Seifert lives in Austin, Texas. His writing has previously been published by The Adroit Journal, b[OINK] Zine, The National Federation of State Poetry Societies, and plain china. He is a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin.