sure i survived but at what price
for sure it was steeper
than any down payment on any house
id have cared to own
so no home ever of my own
i was always a tenant
here were the terms of my lease with every foster family
in exchange for using their house
sitting with them at their family meals
sleeping in a room upstairs where i cant decorate
practicing fake smiles at pretend brothers
celebrating my birthdays with strangers
knowing their names but never partaking
in their own family histories
its okay to pet the dog now & then
theyll put up with me
the nasal-sounding boy that i am
just be a good good boy
with those amazing hearing aids
never expect anything of anyone
in this way id learned to be afraid
of being myself with anyone
in ironwood i was awash
with nightmares of eviction
where else could i go
if my own family had made it clear
i didnt quite fit in with
the puzzle of their lives
i was a missing piece
i was too weirdly shaped
my body was too gangly worse
yet my chest started to develop swirls of fur
then my back started to grow hairy too
my exterior was starting to catch up
to the beast already growing inside
until my expensive porcelain face
cracked from the snarling
i am now a serpent tongue of hiss

What if you had a twin?

once upon a twin: poems

When Raymond Luczak was growing up deaf in a hearing Catholic family of nine children, his mother shared conflicting stories about having had a miscarriage after—or possibly around—the time he was conceived. As an elegy to his lost twin, this book asks: If he had a twin, just how…

once upon a twin: poems →

Bordered with a solid warm gold on the left, the colored illustration, mostly in warm gold tones, shows a youngish man with curly hair looking up to the sky and holding his outstretched hand up to the sky. Over his arm and background shows the text in white: ONCE UPON A TWIN | poems | RAYMOND LUCZAK.

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