Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2016  Vol. 15 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Yawgoog Scout Camp
Rockville, Rhode Island

Lift the lid of Rico Flores’s trunk
at the foot of the bunk beds we shared
and it was all laid out, unhidden.
My glove signed by Juan Peña.
My hip-hop tapes. The headlamp
I made out of a bandana and a bike light.
The Hustler I stole from my uncle.
Mornings I’d take back what was mine
and each night more would go missing.
Wool socks and a monkey fist. A roll
of camo duct tape. We worked the dining hall,
sweeping up food and bleaching tables.
He told me he was from Worcester
and pulled up his shirt to show the crease
in his belly where he said he was stabbed
by his brother on Farrar Avenue.
Said it didn’t even hurt until later.
Told the cops it was a stranger that did it.
It went like that for the rest of the summer,
him stealing and me stealing back
when he wasn’t around. When I found
the cashbox from the front office
stuffed in with his underwear—told him
I knew about it, told him it wasn’t right—
he called me family. Called me brother.
Said he knew he didn’t have to worry about me.
Gripped my hand and pulled me close.  

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