At the Remembrance on the Last Day of Eighth Grade at Springvale Middle School 

by Olin Henry Rhoads


I wish you could bisect or even trisect 
me in order to dissect and excise 
this minuscule throbbing 
underneath my left ventricle 
like I am the red nosed 
operation clown and hot 
dogs rest in my chest cavity 
and only your hands 
with the sharp purple gloss 
on your hard-bitten nails 
can twist them out of me. 
I promise I won’t scream 
in pain like the scream 
your mother made when 
I rode the purple tricycle 
through the screen 
and shattered the pane 
and my parents made me pay 
two allowances worth 
of the Baptist Health 
Center bills and I still 
have two long scars 
like train tracks 
on my forearm. 
I think I found one  
of your rings that shot 
under the radiator  
during an under- 
wrestling match when  
you refused to release 
your claw thumb 
from around my eye 
socket and threatened 
to pop it right out. 
I remember when I dropped 
to one knee in a pretend 
celebration of our union 
because nobody thought 
that marrying eight-year-olds 
was inappropriate and slid 
a lime playdoh ring 
as CD organ music  
gargled through an oval 
boombox and how I wish 
I could mold a spectral ring 
in case we meet again. 

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