Boys Will be Boys

what do our mothers know about defending the earth,
about what lurks in soft light, we’re waiting for aliens
to blink-in on laser beams and cat-step behind us,
to crisp us up like duck skin while we nap.

who knows if we’re good guys or bad, we’re war worn
and mudded, climbing vines and battling sycamores,
trust us to bury the bodies, momma, we will shoot
lickety-split between the eyes of anything that moves.

momma watches from the doorway, the boys beet-faced barbarians,
grasshopper guerrillas, let them out of her hair for as long as the sun

hangs there, she'd wanted girls, mermaids in training, instead these boys
with their father’s mouth, alien in corduroy, what does she know

about boys who will grow into men with ridiculous beards,
she had only sisters, all who knew how to break down a rifle, but

none interested in aiming the barrel or pulling the trigger.
And the boys are still two years away from sneaking cigarettes,

three from stealing vodka sips from the liquor cabinet,
four years before joy rides and knocking into mailboxes

but already she’s stopped telling them when to wash the grit
from their skin, poor things, they don’t even realize,

she doesn’t miss them already.

Lisette Alonso is a south Florida native and a third-year poet in the University of Miami MFA program. Her work has appeared in The Nashville Review and The Tishman Review.

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