William Evans


This one time in biology we were supposed

to dissect frogs, but the shipment of dead and preserved

bodies didn’t arrive on time, so I guess me being the slender

black boy will have to do as the white girls giggle until

the reaction bubbles over the glass lip of the beaker and one of them

asks me what size shoe I wear, of course, she can barely squeeze

out the question because the other mouse traps

are laughing too hard to shoot the rifle straight, so three

graze wounds later I’m tucking my shoes beneath my chair

and notice that one of my size 13 NIKE Airs got a scuff mark

on the heel and I can’t keep the damn thing hidden away

from the hunting party who already felled a big black buck while

barely aiming, so I guess I don’t even notice that they have already

pinned my arms and legs down to the tray and began to peel back

my chest with a scalpel till the lungs and heart

and liver turn brown from the exposure to air, no

one wondering what pond I came from, how I was ever caught

or if my wide and blinking eyes are as big as everything else on me.



Because the Black girls at school don’t usually say cock, when the wolf
says, Why you actin’ all scared to pull your cock out?, I am gutted

twice and opened up onto the concrete that becomes a hunt
after school let out an hour ago. All children are gone or were

never truly here, until it is I and the long legged snarl with her palm
up like a beggar that greets me, claws first. The boy who has already

decided to forsake himself knows nothing of his father or the sky he will
no longer welcome through his bedroom windows. The boy who

surrendered his body to the spear does not recall cheap candy cigarettes
or cookouts with distant family, or the feathered voice of an auntie

that once held him like a laugh that felt joy in his being. No, the boy
is fifteen and apologizing for shedding himself like a good Sharptail snake

is supposed to. Even as I pretend to not see her friends giggling around
the corner of the building. Even as the tremor in my legs has stopped because

I’m too old for that now. Either this or she tells the older girls how small
I must be to hide myself within myself. Either this or she may never like me.

When she puts me in her hands, I forget my mother’s name
or the salty tears I once tasted or the thing I wanted to become

before I became the thing I never planned on. And it’s possible
that I am ashamed at my own arousal or ashamed of how well I

can dig a grave I know is meant for my body or how a girl’s high note giggle
will always sound like a tongue cleaning my blood from its teeth. Or, I can’t

get over that she held me like this for what must have been my best years
until the pack had filled their stomachs with my kill or until my ride came

to pick me up and the girls in the following years all became large
and empty homes I vaguely remember entering.



William Evans is a writer from Columbus, OH. While being a co-founder and editor-in-chief of Blacknerdproblems.com, he has also published two works of poetry on Penmanship Books. His work can be found in joint literary journal, Radius, Union Station Magazine, Freezeray Poetry and other online publications.