National Poetry Month: I AM AFRAID AT TIMES OF THE STORIES I TELL by Sasha Fletcher

Apr 10, 2014Archive, Feature

i am afraid at times of the stories i tell

by Sasha Fletcher


In my free time I build altars. Recently I built you one

inside my locker. It consists of you

inside my locker. Outside I have arranged some candles

and a bag of takeout. It would mean a lot to me

if you’d make a face like a burning building.

If you’d like to get dinner circle yes.

If you heard that I am blessed with a gentle disposition

on certain days then you heard right. You should know

that my favorite activity is when I take my troubles

and I bury them in your mouth. I call this making out

and we can do it all night. You tell me

that you have heard all of this before.

You step out of the locker. You let me know

that I am a minor disappointment. Then you go to work.

You call me up. I tell you I love you. You tell me

across the street a bird is dragging the carcass of a deer across the road.

Five hundred children sit in stadium seating and watch.

They are all wearing sheets with eyes cut out like ghosts.

The wind blows like a sharp intake of breath and it is revealed

that beneath their sheets there are just five hundred piles of bones

saying BOO over and over again, first softly

and then a little bit louder, slowly building up

until it is the only sound in the entire world.

This poem is from issue 39.1. You may purchase a copy here.