Joseph O’Connor

Review: Panorama Taken While Rolling Down a Hill

I was looking at him & he

was rapt in the sun

leap-frogging over the California valley. A heartless game of king-

of-the-hill: I bury desire with sneaker trampling;

fertilize the green-gold patches.

Hook him

from the armpits. Make him beg

for his uncle.

Headlock & drop

to my knees like two blades

of a crashing anchor:—

Throw ourselves overboard or

to the wind or

whichever he prefers.

We fall head-over-groin-over-


Remember: dicks & balls are just things to punch

or be punched in:—or doodle on his notebook when the teacher isn’t looking.

Who was wrapped in who

while we slow-tumbled like yesterday’s dirty

laundry? How will I re-explain

the grass stains & purpled cheek?

The school-scape still orbiting my sunlit prayer:

When:—O when:—will he punch me again?

Joseph O’Connor is a senior at SUNY Geneseo. He is a student of English literature working towards NYS certification in adolescent education with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. Next year, he will join the 2015 Teach for America corps as a Secondary English Language Arts teacher in Miami, Florida.  If he were to befriend a fictional character, he would host regular slumber parties with his B-F-F Albus Dumbledore, where the two would paint their nails with magic, share ghost stories, and dish the latest wizard gossip.

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