Mam tells me my heart is soft as a peach.
She kisses my cheek like it’s the last time.
My heart is soft as a peach, and Mam tells me
there is kindness, somewhere.
I look beneath layers; cardboard, paper, polyester,
synthetic comfort. The look of a stranger
when they spare loose change; enough
for soup, or soap.
My heart is soft as a peach and Mam tells me
there is kindness. I see my first dead body at six.
At six, I know the plasma expelled
by a corpse on the street, pooled in the piss
around a nameless man’s feet.
My heart is soft as a peach when at ten
I see my first penis.
Mam told me there is kindness somewhere,
so I learn to read the faces of hungry men
as I lie beneath them, searching for it.
My heart is soft as a peach,
my hips cleavered open,
my bones stretched to splitting
as I search for it, a kindness
to keep my heart as soft as a peach.