That Boy

When That Boy spit sour in my Slurpee—
the one I rode all the way to Sev for,
I cursed him;
I cursed him harder when he took my diary around town for an impromptu spoken word tour

When That Boy came home crawling from his friend’s Camero,
After four cops took turns beating him since
We all know natives don’t own nice cars
Mom said “We’ll take then to court” when she’d finished crying
The way only blonde haired blue eyed ladies do
Didnt see her son’s brown skin and eyes
Just saw
Her son
And That Boy deserved better

When That Boy came home from court when them cops got nothing
Time off with pay is vacation not
His mom didnt know then it was
Just one in a long line of
shit to go wrong

When That Boy kept six for them ones called friends
But never did not a thing called a crime

That Boy took me to see my first ever tattoo get done in his skin
I saw what pain was but beauty too
and the kinda place I’d
wanna get tattooed in

When That Boy had me watch his kids
while he took his girl out to eat and drink
he came home an took her to the bathroom to beat her up over some jealousy shit
I covered those kids ears so
they couldn’t hear their mother crying

When That Boy told me “No—
she’s buying booze not coffee, ”
then showed me the half full tin for receipts,
Said “No one takes a back pack grocery shopping,”
then he taught me the way to his place a little ways down the road

When That Boy showed me where he works out
trying to make sure I was strong enough to handle what he must’ve known
was a long time coming

When That Boy watched the whole world burn
with just one man staring back at him
he knew his turn had come—
crushed by the weight of it
tried to escape it somehow just
drove his spirit from him whatever way her could do—
pinky nail don’t mean much if you’ve
never needed it

When The Boy lost weight I told him he looked skinny and he scoffed
“Fuck You”
So i knew he quit the roids at least

When That Boy left home in an ambulance wail
He took the person I was then with him.

Justene Dion-Glowa is a bi, Métis poet from BC Canada. She works with Indigenous youth and owns a business. She is a reviewer for The Poetry Question and has had her work featured in Burning House Press, Animal Heart Press and Fevers of the Mind, among others.    WEB