Now that his truck is gone there’s space in the driveway
basketball hoop tattered in still night air.
I’m frozen in my young body picking up pieces 
of a wreck. I’m in my room examining the crater 
in me. Between screams, mom shoves his plates 
in my hands–pain rippling into the lush backyard. 
Beyond the blue-black hills, is a river in motion—
the river that hears this house. Mom throws them 
one by one into the air. I’ve never seen this power—
how far they go, then explode. She makes me practice 
rage, but my power fails to go that far.
White plates like the white moon watch me break.
All night the river cries porcelain. You would think 
when the birds scattered their home destroyed 
that they thought I was a man.
The next day there is nothing

to eat and nothing left to put it on.

Dare Williams is a Queer HIV-positive poet and literary worker rooted in Southern California. A 2019 PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow, he has received support/fellowships for his work from John Ashbury Home School, The Frost Place, Brooklyn Poets, Breadloaf, Tin House, and Vermont Studio Center. His work has been featured in FoglifterFrontierPoetry Northwest, and elsewhere. He is an associate poetry editor at Hooligan Magazine and is currently in the MFA program at Warren Wilson College. To learn more about Dare’s writing, visit Darewilliams.com.

Next Page (Dare Williams)

Previous Page (Smitha Sehgal)