that summer
—a poem by Justin Hyde

we'd cut the top off a pop-can.

one of us would steal a little gasoline
from our father.

out on the west edge of the trailer-park
tucked up under the highway overpass
like hobos.

we'd drop one of our
g.i. joes in the
gasoline bath with
a lit-match.

three of us gathered. around.
silent full

swirling the acrid burning. fumes.
with wooden sticks.

squatting there. there.
that summer before our dicks got hard. women.

women came.

simple truth disappeared. we.

we turned inscrutable.

like our fathers.

Justin Hyde is a poet and Literary Editor for The Commonline Journal. He is the former Poetry Editor of Thieves Jargon and the author of the chapbooks Down Where the Hummingbird Goes to Die (2008) and Another Casualty at the 34th St. Bus Stop (2009). His last collection of poems is An Elephant Hole (2014, Interior Noise Press). He lives in Iowa and works with criminals.