Lessons (formerly titled: Dolls)

Behind the house, beyond the field of
rusted cars, we found rows of blank tombstones,
made love on the damp ground,

you conversing in flat moans with the
dead while I thought about the lake
that must be nearby, the one we can
always smell but have never seen.

You said it smelled like childhood, I said
it smelled like a drowning and we
never went looking.

It’s the same one you told me you dreamed of,

your father showing you
how to properly hide the hook,

about how you started swallowing knives
to forget what else he taught you,

his voice moving in the middle of the
night like bare feet learning to dance
on broken glass.

* * *

Formerly titled ‘Dolls’. Newest revision. Can’t decide if I prefer this structure or not. Tried to address issues that I (and others) felt strongly about, but I can’t decide if I’ve addressed all of that yet, either.

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3 thoughts on “Lessons (formerly titled: Dolls)”

  1. Ryan, this is really fabulous and the only thing I think is too much is “to forget what else he taught you.” I’d cut that line and send it out everywhere.

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