The Sandbox

by Rachel McKibbens

Rachel McKibbens

for Lisa or Laurie

We held each other
in silence
mouth against mouth
blood & thunder scorching the grass
Behind the shed
I played the husband
brutish breadwinner
choking her flesh
in my troubled hands
pulling her head back
to lick
from neck to ear
in frenzied thrill
The kind of love
I learned from movies
& what light swamped the air
as I shoved my bald pelvis into hers
blood ripening into wolf brine
burning a girl-shaped hole in the clover?
Every afternoon I became a god reinventing sky
expert forger of the dry hump
I asked Who’s your daddy? before that was even a thing
Once the recess bell rang
I released her back
into the quiet unwild
to no-longer-mine
to fat white tubs of minty paste
& songs about Jesus
From across the room
I watched my bride
make eyes
with the real boys
& knew I could kill for her
drill a body down into the earth
boy in the Polaroid
a grisly figurine
The white horse of masculinity bucking wild on the inside
I bit my lip & did as I was told
After school
I wanted
to hold her hand
she always wanted a divorce
When the big kids followed me home
calling me
I held my chin out & challenged to fight them all
every time
& why not?
Might as well
we all knew
I would never

Last updated May 12, 2019