Naked

Prose poem first published in Lights #1 zine, from Pleasure Boat Studio, April 2020, page 96. Originally written in April of 2006.       +

It’s a story about my childhood, and I tell it to you on our first date because you said you’d visited India last year. As a child, visiting Calcutta, I had seen a dead baby, face down and covered with flies in a cardboard box, the box wet from the muddy gutter it lay in. We share other memories, other details of ourselves. You tell me of the time you climbed your brother’s favourite tree and found a magazine stuffed into a hole, a National Geographic with pictures of topless African women. Later that evening I wonder if I’d always imagined my story from a picture in a magazine, and what you meant by your story, what I meant by mine.