Boy Poem to a Cool Love

I want you to know that when I pick flowers

from my garden I wish their petals were your face

or a bell or some medicine. I want some way

to multiply bloom without the rare shit

of a mouthless animal. I want you to know

that I have no garden but the one we make

with our bodies. I want you to know how

to name a flower: sexy, fourth knuckle,

taste bud. Know that I never visited

my grandfather when he was dying

because I dreamed of not dying

and didn’t want to trim the bushes

or bury the cat. Know that my grandfather

is fine now, that his body is something

we know how not to sell or spend,

that we were ready for anything,

and that the cat wasn’t dead

because he had three legs and one eye.

Know that he’s just sleeping, doesn’t eat

or sing anymore. Know that my body

is an instrument you play by opening

the mouth and holding it till the night falls in.

Know that my other grandfather is deaf

and doesn’t love me. That there was a day

he taught me to hunt rabbits with yo-yos.

Know that we didn’t eat or kill them,

but found a snake that was already dead

and slit down the middle. And know

that the snake was full of bone,

that the underbelly was white and blank

like a map I could fold and unfold

until I felt transfigured. No, it did not

contain a moon or a rose or a tube

of chap-stick. No, my mouth tastes nothing

like that. And yes, I am soiled in light and thorn,

rendered an artifact which my grandchildren

would look at to learn how to kiss.


Aidan Forster is a junior in high school. He studies creative writing at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville, South Carolina. He is the blog editor of The Adroit Journal, a poetry reader for The Blueshift Journal, and the co-founder/editor-in-chief of Fissure. He is the 2016 winner of the Louise Louis / Emily F. Bourne Student Award from the Poetry Society of America, a commended Foyle Young Poet of 2016, and has received multiple recognitions from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. His work appears in or is forthcoming from The Adroit Journal, Assaracus, DIALOGIST, Indiana Review, Two Peach, and Verse, among others.