Men. Part One

By J. Cartwright

Men like to leave me:

My brother, and father.

I fill the hole with boys,

and they leave me too.

My first boyfriend in two weeks,

second in three,

third in three days,

fourth in a month.

Bang Crash Boom Sting,

one after another.

So sometimes I thank God

my brother wasn’t shot—


but stabbed instead.

I hope it hurt less.

I once watched my muse

trip and fall

face first

to the ground—


Like the sound of shattering concrete.

Sometimes I envision the way

my father fell from the ladder—


onto his back.

Is concrete better than a bullet, too?

I should ask my muse.

My biggest fear is that

a man will never hug me.

my brother and father had this way;

they would wrap their arms

around me so tight

when they let go

my whole body



Men like to leave me.


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