i never wanted to grow up to be anything horrible
as a man.  my biggest fear  was the hair  they said
would    snake    from  my   chest,   swamp    trees
breathing  as  i  ran.  i prayed for a  different  kind
of  puberty:  skin  transforming  into  floor boards
muscles  into  cobwebs, growing  pains  sounding
like an  attic  groaning  under  the  weight  of  old
photo  albums.  as a  kid  i  knew  that  there  was
a car burning above water before this life,  i woke
here  to  find  fire   scorched   my  hair  clean  off
until i shined like glass—my eyes,  two acetylene
headlamps. in my family we have a story for this:
my brother holding me in his hairless arms.  says

dad it will be a monster            we should bury it.

From Bury It. Copyright © 2018 by sam sax. Published by Wesleyan University Press. Reprinted by permission.