Latch-Key Kid

just a quick snack before homework, suddenly you’re sitting, grounded
against cobbled linoleum, avocado for hobbits, wheat for a country lane,
dizzy against the refrigerator, breathe in, breath out, harvest gold and humming

crawling in like mimolette, crunchy with mites, cave-aged
over crystalline flesh, the kitchen cabinets grow grey, crackle
at the corners of your periphery, mom is at a meeting

won’t be home until late

pin pricks of adrenaline climb your shoulders, the stretch you can’t reach
between waist and nape – itch and burn of yellow-jacketed
all six feet and stinging, like peroxide  on summer cuts

tonight’s jazzy All Things Considered theme song wavers,
staticky, staccato your eyes moving slowly in the splits
between blinks, the yarn-wrapped key at your neck pulses

where will you go tonight?


Na/Glo PoWriMo prompt Day Two, gave rise to this: a combination of a memory of a childhood panic attack and feeling a little spooooooky.

Today’s prompt (optional, as always) is based on this poem by Claire Wahmanholm, which transforms the natural world into an unsettled dream-place. One way it does this is by asking questions – literally. The poem not only contains questions, but ends on a question. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that similarly resists closure by ending on a question, inviting the reader to continue the process of reading (and, in some ways, writing) the poem even after the poem ends.

2 thoughts on “Latch-Key Kid

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