by Paul Telles

Published in Issue No. 295 ~ December, 2021

Because I wanted to be a “real good boy,”

I opened wide each time my Mother gave me

my spoon of yellow syrup. I grew coy

about the nasty rush, smiling “so bravely.”


Because I wanted to be a “calmer boy,”

I learned to like the way my breathing slowed

while I dawdled getting dressed, then messed with toy

soldiers and blocks I’d never quite outgrown.


Because I wanted to be a “happy boy,”

I grabbed a window seat on the Bluebird bus,

using my wide-eyed stupor as a ploy

to save me from the views of other boys.


In class, I “settled down” like sediment,

learning to bury sadness that “made no sense.”

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Paul Telles' poems have appeared in mutliple online publications, including Rat's Ass Review, Book of Matches, and BoomerLitMag.