They say I have attachment disorder
from years in the orphanage—I say
I’m attached to dirt: to the grit 
of stones, pulverized metal from 
the slag heap, I learned touch
from air, I fashioned love from
strangers. Your families
make no sense to me.
My mother’s the 4 barrel of a 409,
my heart’s dragstripped
from the shredded tires
of predators. Go ahead,
think of me—
throw the red flag down.
I’m one you never figured, 
dead engine start on a quarter-mile strip,
my lo-jack is the split/
the pull away—
you back there,
me running the distance. 

Copyright © 2024 by Jan Beatty. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 20, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.