I am five,
    Wading out into deep

Sunny grass,
Unmindful of snakes
    & yellowjackets, out
To the yellow flowers
Quivering in sluggish heat.
    Don't mess with me
'Cause I have my Lone Ranger
Six-shooter. I can hurt
    You with questions
Like silver bullets.
The tall flowers in my dreams are
    Big as the First State Bank,
& they eat all the people
Except the ones I love.
    They have women's names,
With mouths like where
Babies come from. I a five.
    I'll dance for you
If you close your eyes. No
Peeping through your fingers.
    I don't supposed to be
This close to the tracks.
One afternoon I saw
    What a train did to a cow.
Sometimes I stand so close
I can see the eyes
    Of men hiding in boxcars.
Sometimes they wave
& holler for me to get back. I laugh
    When trains make the dogs
Howl. Their ears hurt.
I also know bees
    Can't live without flowers.
I wonder why Daddy
Calls Mama honey.
    All the bees in the world
Live in little white houses
Except 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 why
The music in my head
    Makes me scared.
But I know things
I 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 people
Telling each other secrets.