dismantle with care: pick
yourself apart without malice
you are broken. pillows on an old

sofa, they beat out the dust to
bruise complacency they
take you out and beat you too often

be gentle, little boy
he is familiar with time here
he bites all of his fingernails

too far down into the nailbeds
vulpine foxes, fingernails bite and bleed
skin exposed, you are soft touch

unsolicited adventure pries open your
lips but you are ill-equipped, declawed,
a writer in the dark

you are stoic little boy, your fur
is wet and matted but the earth hears you
being beaten and she knows

you mean well