I was a Child but I Already Knew
A child already knows
That something is hidden there, some elemental horribleness under the surface.
What monstrous selfishness or horror does he intuit, even when his skin is still so smooth it glows and surprises like the miniscule iridescent facets of an opal?
Opals are said to be bad luck when they are not your birth stone.
It is an old wives’ tale.
Wives are people too. So are their men.
Men and women are
powerless against disaster.
Women sneak pills
And men get yoked and tugged at like sickly, sloped-backed nags at jobs where the finished product is
Something immediately disposable or else
Something so permanent it is like a new planet, in a star system of trash, in a galaxy of the pop-tops from old beer cans and pages and pages of manuscripts dotted with emoticons.
The smiley face.
The frowny face.
I think maybe it is the frown a child already senses, primordially,
The sad, powerless giving-up of a frown. Or else, the brave lie of a smile.