Elizabeth Bachinsky

Of a Place

When the voices of children are heard on the green
and whisp’rings are in the dale,
the days of my youth rise fresh in my mind
my face turns green and pale.

William Blake, Songs of Experience, "Nurse’s Song"


Please see the town from above.
It is flat. Note the grid-work. Pick
a road, any road. (It doesn’t matter which).
I am three days late and failing French
nine for the second time. I eat speed
and tweak through P.E.. A boy waits for me
by the bus stop. I know his hunched shape,
his too-wide shoulders, how he pulls them down, pulls
his hands into his sleeves as if he could hide
his size. He’s too big to be a boy, 
but he’s a boy. Some nights we climb onto the roof
outside his bedroom window, drink his parents’ mgd
while they watch tv in the family room.
I like his cruel eyes, his punk rock hair.
I like his parents. How they pretend not to hear
our sounds at three am—him and me so drunk,
I have to cut his boots off with a knife.