Five-year-old Boy

Gabriel at five is leaning on the world
the way a factory foreman leans on
a slow worker. As he talks, he holds
a kitchen strainer in his hand. At the end of
the conversation, the handle is twisted,
the mesh burst—he looks down at it
amazed. Mysterious things are always
happening in his hands. As he tells a story,
he dances backwards. Nothing is safe
near this boy. He stands on the porch, peeing
into the grass, watching a bird
fly around the house, and ends up
pissing on the front door. Afterwards he
twangs his penis. Long after
the last drops fly into the lawn,
he stands there gently rattling his dick,
his face full of intelligence,
his white, curved forehead slightly
puckered in thought, his eyes clear,
gazing out over the pond,
his mouth firm and serious;
abstractedly he shakes himself
once more
and the house collapses
to the ground behind him.

:: Sharon Olds, Satan Says (1980)

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