TO THE BOY WHO CARVED “PUSSY FUCK 'EM ALL” ON THE SEARS BATHROOM STALL
The world has failed you in more ways than one,
perhaps you’ve just discovered we never become
the people in our heads, the ones we made up long
ago, when our triangle lives still fit into the brightly
colored boxes of this America.
We are more alike than you think, Pussy Boy,
even if I like dick. We share insecurities, the love
of blunt language, the passion to spread our seed.
You spend your time in the Sears public restroom
carving proclamations and I spend my time here
reading them, memorizing them, so that I might
sell them as poetry, which you never intended—
more disappointment, I’m afraid.
I’ve never carved anything into a stall,
but I like imagining the way your hand must have
held the pocketknife, the one you probably got as
a Boy Scout, the same one I used to carve my name
in the pine tree outside my bedroom window when
I was ten and hadn’t learned the damage
a wound can do to a tree.
I bet your fingers trembled a little as you carved that “P,”
but relaxed by the time you got to “fuck.” I imagine you
with shirtsleeves rolled, pants at your ankles, sweat
on your neck and palms, but I don’t imagine your cock
and I’m sorry if that saddens you, if it doesn’t fit your
straight boy fantasies that every gay boy is just dying
to suck you off, every pussy dying to be filled.
Mostly I envision your head bent down intensely
watching your craftsmanship, perhaps thinking of me,
the reader. Perhaps you still think of me, here
in the bathroom tracing your words with my finger.
Maybe you smile at the thought of someone taking
you so seriously, immortalizing you on the page,
or maybe you’ve forgotten all about your words
still on the stall wall, until Sears decides to renovate,
and your wall ends up in some landfill where the birds
circle and squawk, never understanding
the loneliness of tight spaces.