Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Thirty-eight
Summer 2015
K. A. Wisniewski

They aren’t friends, just big kids who like to see the show, who
like to see the drama, the explosions, someone else’s hurt feelings

spread across the lawn. But I persisted, and these were the days
when it was hard to get explosives. It was worth the anticipation:

the idea of the blast, the noise. M-80s, cherry bombs, breaking out
of themselves. A couple of pumps of the air rifle. I asked them to shoot

me with my own bb gun so that they’d laugh and we’d be friends.
And there was the rush of breaking in, hopping fences, stealing sulfur

and nitrate from Mr. Tom’s shed and charcoal from my dad’s back
porch. Filling up a shampoo bottle. Blowing up a letterbox. Lighter

fluid burns quicker I kept reminding myself. Next week I could light
my new coat on fire and roll down the hill and watch everyone applaud.

I was floating alcohol on the water and became scarred and bruised with
hands that never worked the same again. But that summer I had friends.

About K. A. Wisniewski

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