I am five, Wading out into deepSunny grass,Unmindful of snakes & yellowjackets, outTo the yellow flowersQuivering in sluggish heat. Don’t mess with me’Cause I have my Lone RangerSix-shooter. I can hurt You with questionsLike silver bullets.The tall flowers in my dreams are Big as the First State Bank,& they eat all the peopleExcept the ones I love. They have women’s names,With mouths like whereBabies come from. I am five. I’ll dance for youIf you close your eyes. NoPeeping through your fingers. I don’t supposed to beThis close to the tracks.One afternoon I saw What a train did to a cow.Sometimes I stand so closeI can see the eyes Of men hiding in boxcars.Sometimes they wave& holler for me to get back. I laugh When trains make the dogsHowl. Their ears hurt.I also know bees Can’t live without flowers.I wonder why DaddyCalls Mama honey. All the bees in the worldLive in little white housesExcept the ones in these flowers. All sticky & sweet inside.I wonder what death tastes like.Sometimes I toss the butterflies Back into the air.I wish I knew whyThe music in my head Makes me scared.But I know thingsI don’t supposed to know. I could start walking& never stop.These yellow flowers Go on forever.Almost to Detroit.Almost to the sea. My mama says I’m a mistake.That I made her a bad girl.My playhouse is underneath Our house, & I hear peopleTelling each other secrets.
― Yusef Komunyakaa
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