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Boy on a Hothouse

Your sneakered feet shade
the limp-petalled lilies, ferns
burned brown in their pots.
Crouched on the glass roof,
you hug your knees, hiding
from Father, who enters like an angry
god to grant water
from a cracked green can.

Mottled pansies droop in a row,
purple as your mother’s eye, bright
as the knife you grabbed
and pointed at his chest
to make him stop. How long
can you wait here, August
sun branding your neck?
How long until somebody sees?



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