i was born in
a lake

i was born
in a boxcar

sculpted out of
& placed
behind glass

i lost my first tooth
in one
of the twin cities
but i can’t
remember which

i broke my first
in the snow
at the zoo
at a family reunion
on an exercise bike
on my grandparents’

i skinned my knee.
i took off my shirt in front
of my cousins
because i thought i was
one of the boys

my grandmother said
amy, why did you cut
your father out
of your life

i sculpted my heart
out of butter
and threw it in
the lake

my father said
happy birthday
i cut a hole
in the ice

my father said
i can’t believe
you’re thirteen
in college
graduating from

i buried myself
in blankets
i put on too much

i went to
the nearest lake
and sat down
and tried to cry
but couldn’t

i went to
the minneapolis
convention center
and tried to call
myself a writer
but couldn’t

i went to the mall
of america
and camp snoopy
had been

there is an indoor
roller coaster
inside me
and i am afraid
of that one too

i was born in
the largest mall
in the country
put on a plane
at too early
an age
and taken

to new jersey
where every mall
felt like
a hospital
i can’t believe
i’m thirty

my grandmother
sends me
an email
it says they have
sold the house

my father sends
me an email
it says
‘i’m sorry’

i go to the
nearest lake

and cry
and cry
and cry