And have a collection of baseball cards
And shelves stacked with Marvel Comics
Legion of ten thousand supermen
I’d have a box full of bottlecaps
And another full of tin cans
Won as trophies when I was twelve
And we kicked those Cokes all through alleyways
I’d know a million Facts You Didn’t Know
I’d whistle through my teeth and fingers
I’d worship Lincoln. If I were a boy
I’d carve wood on my porch step
During the sluggish summer dusk
Carry a penknife – my grandpa’s
Build model airplanes and know
How to skip a stone across a glass lake.
If I were a boy, you’d know me
By the smack of my gum
Or the sound my double-laced sneakers
Made on the pavement.
If I were a boy my skateboard wheels
Would never catch on the asphalt
I’d have a grin like lightning –
Flash so fast strangers would stare –
I’d have a clubhouse. A treehouse
And I’d sleep there on cold nights
With a flashlight and some shabby
Provisions: cards, a thermos, socks.
If I were a boy I’d catch lizards
On rocks in the hot sun, and the traps
I made would work, always.
I’d have a pet dog or maybe a rat
If I were a boy, I’d know the words
To every Clash song and all the
Constellations and every poem
By Langston Hughes.
If I were a boy I’d ditch.
I’d take the bus down to MOCA
I’d have dirty fingernails and quick eyes
If I were a boy I’d be honest
And famous for quipping off in class.
If I were a boy I’d cuss all the time
Whatever I want at everyone. I’d play
Guitar and drums and harmonica
I’d climb rocks and throw dirt
I’d kick walls and hum riffs
I’d breathe more and I’d never have to
Do any of this.