A Boy Ago Visits His Shadow

Tyler Allen Penny | Poetry

 After Lucie Brock-Broido

No whipped pistol. No two-inch signature
on your scalp two weeks into February.

No metal potential. No skull dent, flapped
skin. No masked hand willing ruin.

No blood-black shirt in the two-block
walk back home. No safe walls.

Beds to become inescapable islands.

No hospital staple gun to your right temple,
three effigies staked into a new brunette

tomb. No night nurse flipping through
Good Housekeeping, July issue,

Die Hard 2 playing on the TV, vacant
cobwebs strung from the ceiling.

What will be left: new boundaries of
a noir body, forever prone on the street.

One that’s gravel dark, eyes wide
to the glint of steel; rare, more raw.

Return each year to that shoulder
of road. Clench a fist for a heart.

Touch him gently. Tell him
where it will hurt.