smiling is not my thing

a bruised faced seven year old torn

unhappy family drunk and fighting

rape instills the image


smile for the camera son

I said “smile! fucking smile! you lil’ puke”

a fascist father

a pacifist mother


I cannot tell a lie

for the truth releases

a rebellious revolutionary

alone and fed-up

run child run

far from that camera


by twelve, not the tick tock at midnight twelve

salvation was sought on a greyhound

my thumb was a highway star

in the midst of northern BC winters

an icy picture, click-click


hungry and distraught

I walked alone

resisted a snap shot happy society

gleaming poised smiles of fallacies imposed

whims of keen elders entrench their lives

never escapable gallows of denial captured

polaroid, film, and digitally etched memorandums


smile or be chastised

but do not remind us

we know your skeletons

click, winding, click

every shutter of the camera

I hold dead-pan-face

“fuck you! picture this!”

a small boy’s finger projected

remember this image

forget your acceptance


every click and whine haunts me

pictures etched in my memory

christmas, birthdays but not halloween

I got to embody the star child and the beast

now I can smile

click, click, click

good boy

we love you


I want to die