To the Poem Trying to Crawl Out of the Boy At the Back of the Room:
By Anna Teresa Slater
Where are you going? Stop.
You’ve scraped up too many stars, releasing
them into the air. They don’t belong there.
Look at him.
His forehead is lost in the glimmery metaphors
you’ve designed. You thought you would delight with
bloom and flight and bared and seek, but
don’t you see that even the bones propping him up
aren’t his? It’s too soon.
When he reaches his hand into his mouth to wring
himself out of his own tongue, ride along. Be prepared
with your whirlwind holler, your dewy joy, but
that won’t be for a while yet. Look at him. He first needs
to understand. Until then, simmer.
If necessary, sleep.
There is space for you in there, next to the moon.
Anna Teresa Slater is a teacher in Iloilo, Philippines. She holds a master’s degree in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and her work is published in a variety of international journals and anthologies. The print version of her first poetry collection, ‘A Singular, Spectacular Chore’ is forthcoming in 2021.