By Micah Cronin
Poetry Peddlers Anonymous
When you’re used to letting your blood spatter inspire you,
you forget that the scraps of paper you bleed on for your lustful admirers
Burn scars are repulsive.
You will notice them eventually, dressing in front of a mirror
after showing them, again,
all the colors of your naked flesh.
You will scream.
Don’t let them hear you.
Perhaps you will learn not to
let them keep photos of you like party favors,
Perhaps you will realize that the reason you never feel the peace of being alone
is because you told them the records
you play when you’re awake at three a.m. and your lover for the night has left.
You will feel immobile.
You will stare at paper and pens, those former extensions of your skin.
You will forget,
until you relearn how to remember.
Then you will paint them a mural instead,
with every color you know.
You will write all the words you love to roll around on your tongue like ice cubes
in a book.
You will leave it somewhere for them to find.
They might piss on your work
but that will be all right.
Your mouth will paint a thousand more landscapes
and you will run all the ink in the world dry
if you want to.
You will remember that
you, with all your ripples and dents and smooth places
will never be here again.
So you will see to it that when you are gone,
your skin will be made into a tapestry to be hung in a grand gallery
that will sway on the breaths exhaled from new bodies.
And those old scraps of you which you used to whore out
will be ashes in the wind.
Micah Cronin is, at 20 years old, a novice theologian and LGBTQ activist on his college campus. His future plans include divinity school, entering the Episcopal priesthood, and of course writing more poetry and creative nonfiction.