by Megan O'Keefe

The bedroom (now long gone,
the blues painted over for
a new boy) was written over
with symbols by the time I
left, ciphers in roller-crayon,
an invented language in tight coils
drawn on the back of the dresser;
when I was young, the world
felt ready to end, and I felt ready
(in forts fitted with battery lanterns
and bean bag animals) to bear it.
In fifth grade, we built a Future City
from spraypainted soda bottles,
imposing Gotham buildings fitted
with LEDs, Nascars hung on
invisible wire, and won most fireproof.
‘Tomorrow’ was unlikely,
and so was a toy,
but now is tomorrow, and now cannot
be forted, and the blue walls with
their cryptograms, their number-gates,
are no longer a bunker, but a bedroom
for a child under less weight,
the massive stone mantle no longer
a cold place to rest my head
(pulse of bats, waking from the day’s sleep)
but a place to burn.

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