“I do not beat”

My heart on a string,
pulled by girls—
powered by training wheels
running round and round
like the electric light bulbs
twirling asterisks
beneath
another pudding-skin dawn.
Kisses like a 9-volt battery,
tugging me off
in every direction.
Her innocence is cruel
and virtue—just shy of
murder.
But she lets me get a peek
behind that locket,
just long enough
to scar anyone forever.
That is, if I have her favorite flavor
chewing gum tucked neatly for plain view
in my breast pocket. Cigarettes do fine too.
Convenience charge?
There is no charge.
Cinnamon boils blisters on her tongue—
chewing and chewing like chalk
in the hand of a boy that’s been bad.
I sit alone in the classroom with her
when she calmly cuts the chord,
listening for the beat to echo
that she is done
but that I am still following her.
Breathing disbelief;
She re-reads the title, over and over.
My heart on a string—
no longer.

narrative poem written on 11-06-2010 by: on mattkane.com
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