Dead Young Thing

"Leave it out back," he said, "No one will know."
And no one did.  And no one cared or thought
about us.  Why would they?  I went to school
like everybody else.  I looked the same --
a little quieter.  Yeah, I was scared,
mostly at night.  The daytime was all right

until I started feeling sick again.
I prayed the faint would go away.  It did,
but I kept getting bigger and I hid
myself in looser clothes. He never stopped
before or after.  Anyway, I knew
he never would. I left it, like he said,
inside the dumpster by the courtyard stair.
Then we would go on like we had before,
but this one cried, and lived, and we got caught.

I still can't sleep at night.  I have this dream:
he picks me up, I'm screaming as I fall
down on the garbage slime.  You see, it's me
was dead for him, right from the start.  Since I'm
in jail, I've got a better place to be.


by Wendy Sloan