Six-year-olds shouldn’t know
the brain is spaghetti and the cranium
is the bowl. Or that the heart is not
a doily-trimmed valentine.
Or under every smile and frown
the skull’s poker face waits.
They shouldn’t know eyeballs
without eyelids never blink—
that we all stare like zombies.
That the body is nothing more
than plumbing—valves clog,
pipes burst. They shouldn’t know
it can happen mid-slurp eating soup,
the spoon an inch from the lips.
Inner coils can pop. They might start
to see in slow motion
and in reverse. It will be a blessing
and a curse. How do you make
a poet, or at least a man in love
with death? Show the boy
how skin is a sack
holding us in. That without bones
we’d be puddles. That rivers
of blood wait to spill out.

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