No One Can Tell Us We’re Wrong*

You might not know what’s linear. Of course it’s time to run, time to grow up because you’re ready. You’ll think on a bus, think about making it in the arts. Even a non-dancer like you can learn enough moves to satisfy men who can’t love. Some men stand up during gunfire with nothing in their hands. The only thing you do that your parents want you to do is stay safe. When one of the others gets pulled by the boss, the golden-toothed reptile, you rally all the women. You lead them in a shake of shoulders, the arc of grenade. After the shrapnel of drink tears away the boss’ face, it’s time to run again, to lead the way down an unwatched street. As you grow up once more, you’re back on the bus, if you ever left the bus at all.

*Title is a lyric from “Love Is a Battlefield” by Pat Benatar (#5 on Billboard Hot 100, 1983).

Daniel M. Shapiro has attended a World Series Game 7, edited a lingerie catalog, and been called “gorgeous” by Burt Reynolds. His book of celebrity poems, How the Potato Chip Was Invented, was published by Sunnyoutside Press in 2013.

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