I didn't know a sycamore tree until I died in one

Robert Sulmonte

maybe if you roll me up
and squeeze me till i pop
like the old toothpaste tube
you say you’ll replace one day
you can milk me for all i’m worth
and wet your pink pronged tongue with my paste


teeth white like a ghost
in a sheet with the holes cut out
i never saw your face behind the mask
but i could feel your mouth,
razors chewed my skin because you liked the blood, you liked to swallow the spirits

the distilled kind, too
when the blood turned your mask red
like the flag; your red, white, blue eyes
but less patriotic,
you wouldn’t stay loyal to a pledge or a ring

blacking out eyes, teeth, tongue,

i learned how to tie a knot myself

high up in the branches of a sycamore

like a drop of rain in the earth’s veins

i tripped on an untied shoelace
and my head was full of blood
and my feet are full of blood