we are long passed the days of the switch.
the detective was thankful and heartbroken
about this, wrist ground to nub chalk dust
against blackboard. speak up written until
the words broke into letters, the letters into shapes,
the shapes into a train with bolted on and screaming
wheels. he dreams of being sent into the world
to choose the thickness of his punishment.
to balance how much pain is deserved for what’s
inside him. to be bent over a wood desk and be beaten
by something so like his own hands. but this iron
horse chalk ride is a different kind of discipline
it strips his wrist down to the bone like an oak limb.
it teaches him the lesson. it’s written in him now.
sam sax is a fellow at The Michener Center for Writers & the associate poetry editor for Bat City Review. He’s the two time Bay Area Grand Slam Champion & author of the chapbooks, A Guide to Undressing Your Monsters (Button Poetry), and sad boy / detective (2014 Black River Chapbook Prize). His poems have been published or are forthcoming from Boston Review, The Minnesota Review, The Normal School, Rattle, & other journals.