Self Portrait of The Kid as The Amphitheater

Self Portrait of The Kid as The Amphitheater

by Adam Messinger


I am the tripping in the bathroom. A spider's corpse- 

possibly decor?- stands among the shifting, flipping floor tiles

as I ponder dead pets, birthday presents, aspirations, and other

things currently sitting in the lost and found box at my elementary.


Yet there was my ex-Peter Parker, haunted by half webs,

screaming in space, only heard by me.

Under the veil, I fall down the rabbit hole, into the warmth

of the past as the cool rubs against me.




Try to remember the kindness of spring, of accompanying

our nanny to the plays, where you yourself set your 

sights for golden marquees and a star for your door. 

Think of the (children!) grass growing (you have that in common).

The crack of applause was the beginning of something

whoreish but fulfilling- public appraisal!

Try to remember that stage- under the trees- where 

in the summer, post-garage dad bands, 

their fingers red from practice, left you feeling bored.

But still you kept at it- going to the outdoor space-

you grew up and noticed the make up on the players,

the flatness of the cardboard houses, and the yawns piling up.

Suddenly, this was a chore. My legs hurt, sitting there.

Others took note, seats were left sizzling under the sun, empty.

The new craze hit- leaving the concrete slab among the trees

vulnerable to creatures of the night- seductive siren boys.

A frost fell as I turned 13.

It was done.

Now he's littered with shattered pieces of

Budweiser bottles. The cracked, shimmering, brown glass 

makes the yellow and white filters pop under the light 

of the moon. "No one can see down here, we're fine."

It happened pretty quick, really. 

I was bored, really!

It's been years since you've even heard the applause.

He must have better things to do now.




Slapping my face from the chessboard floor, glued

there by a sloshy, foamy, blue, vomit-

I capture the king, winning the game.

I am the child tripping in the bathroom.