At 8-Years-Old, I Painted the Air Black

Cole Depuy



do you ever feel                                                              

weird when you think                                                              

               about how you see things?”                                                         

                       She stands over me & I can tell                                                          

                               she no longer thinks about looking                                                 

                                       through eyes that rip unopened letters                                                   

                                                             like twitching butterfly wings. 

So I push her                                                                  down the stairs.

Her bones drum the hardwood                                            

floor & scatter into a dry pile of x’s: The thieves’            

                   fortune. I recoil behind the wall & close my eyelids.                                        

                                    Thick blackness. I fall into its fondling hands                                                

                                                like a mouse on never-ending palms

that                                                    crack its wishbone hips & try

to flick                                                        it off of the pirate-

ship where my                                                       blind father

lives. His grin                                                           

         reveals the cool gums                                                         

         that I let gnaw on my arm.                                                   

         I scratch his back tenderly                                                      

         as he rows. Eyes floating                                                         

              around their sockets, he obeys                                                 

                the captain’s orders. We must outrun

                               the storm & ignore the wishes, the fins,                                                                                            

                          the long squeals behind us. Grammy,                                                                     

                                                                   I am the boy with two ears                                                                

                                                                                  & if I swallow

hard enough                      

my left eye sucks down                                                               

                              into my throat where I can see                                                        

                                                   the trapeze artists swing. I wonder                                                 

                                                          how they stay balanced                                                     

                                                          with everyone watching.                                                                  

                                                                   Grammy says,                                                                              

                                                                                          “If it makes

you feel                                                                    

           weird, love, then don’t                                                                           

                                       think about it. Now, go                                                       

                                     brush your                                                                               





Cole Depuy is an MFA candidate at Southern CT State University. He graduated from UVM in 2013 with and English degree. He lives in New Haven, CT with his two roommates and works as a graduate assistant at SCSU’s Social Work Dept.