ghost boy, part one

walk straight and tall and elegant,
syllables straight and eloquent
never broken, nor sharp enough
to tattoo your essence on the flesh of
your judges as you stand, lofty, on trial each day
until you’re not only the color of oak trees–
you possess their gnarled hides as well.

you will rise amid the soft shadow whispers
of this legal forest amid pale birches,
coating your skin with their satin powder
praying to be cut down,
to be spared the infamy of your greater height–

you will meander testimonial rivers clearer than your own
in hopes of shedding layers of gypsum and calcite clothing
but chalk is known for its adhesion to dark surfaces
and your body is but its moving canvas,
testament to an art lauded by circles of writing instruments
and lamented by paper forsaken for your skin;

sea or forest floor, your courtroom is the same.
your trial ends in a guilty verdict
and you will be marched out of that room
under the righteous, watchful eyes of jurors
who saw nothing at all.

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