Split

Stand in a David Bowie shirt, possibly
crying, face sidling.

Smell fresh lawn shavings. Dad leans
in to whisper something. We’ve recently
mastered falling off my bike. He lets go
again and again. The dich is a pillow
that never fails to collect you.

Comet through the park, sink
up to the roots of the willow.
Everything smells like slough.
The boy steals Optimus Prime.

Strike him
while his twin watches. Division
is how we split our loves
and loyalties.

Long-haired teens let you bang on drums.
The lub-dub puts your soul on springs.
Gaze at an orange skull sunk to the heart
of an aquarium. Dance to Blondie on
mom’s feet. One way or another,
mitochondria crux.

Castle Grayskull splits to reveal
a plastic throne. Evil Lynne, so
transparent in her desires.

Yellow tongue of the Slip ‘N Slide.
As you wham into mown grass,
a dark-eyed boy catches you,
splits your popsicle
in two.

Jes Battis (he/they) teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Regina. Jes has published poetry in The Capilano Review, CV2, The Maynard, and Poetry Is Dead.

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