Balloon Animal


His blood drips            from the piano wire.
          Sand dunes plot       and squeak
beneath our feet.       I could show you a magic trick,
                      transfigure a tiger-striped
shell into a namesake.     I’ll twist new faces
                        out of          blue plastic bottles
                       like balloon animals             scrunched up
                  from heat                            or the wince
        at a scaling knife               grazing his spine.
                           We share a bloodline.
I’ll trace it across my face,              savour the salt air
            of his breath                like when we were careless
teenagers, desperate                   to numb ourselves.
   I still feel the tang                              of that pulp
under my tongue,                                         pooling
          in the upside-down                          jellyfish reef
                   of my mouth.                   I’ll magic
           a new balloon animal                  from their anemones.
     Hold it behind the gills,                     slippery as grief.
                                      Hear it explode.

Share This