POETRY: CATHERINE WOLFE – WHERE ARE THE SIDEWALKS

Where Are the Sidewalks?

 

Blades of grass slashed my feet.

“No Trespassing” signs smacked my face, screamed,

“Go back to your city, we have no sidewalks here.” Sidewalks,

sidewalks, where are the sidewalks?

Limping, dripping bloody footprints on the macadamia road,

I edged toward the school bus stop,

where hyenas brayed, “We are the cool of the suburbs,

worship at our Gucci feet!”  The school bus choked me

with a mix of diesel and fluffy yellow cake uranium,

crazy-glued me to the seat with chewed orange bubble gum.

 

The rambling, random brick walls of the school blocked my path,

spat at me, mockingly proclaimed,

“We have no use for you, little girl,

go back to your dingy drabby scumdummy school.”

The bell shrieked, “You’re late for your viral

algebra class! Your punishment:  prove theological theorems

for all to see. Pray to the icon of iconoclasm!”

Blackboards surrounded me,

erasers clapped together, suffocating with clouds of cyanide chalk.

The gymnasium belligerently belittled my body,

bleachers ripped off my clothes,

chanting, “Boo, boo, no one will ever make love to you!”

 

I hid in the showers and cried for the sidewalks.

But the sidewalks shed crock pot tears and

not for me.

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