I Wanted to Be Nowhere When I Grew Up

James O'Bannon
Hello magic trick Hello blue sky
now yellow now black Hello speck

    of white in the sky The best things 
    are all temporary 	right How

many splashes of color can 
you count What does this cloud

    look like What does this swirl
    of white in the sky --- Help I dropped 

my body My skin and lungs are on
the ground There are so many delicious

    colors on the ground 
    and the sky is still flashing

temporary light So how can all
this light make its way to the back

    of an eye I mean how can all this
    light be here and then not and then 

here again Once I carved galaxies
into my skin because I wasn't sure

    what was there What was there
    was color and then nothing What

was there Now I am asking 
How many ways are there 

    to name a thing that has a name 
    How many ways can I disappear

and reappear in the next sentence I mean
when I was young I tried to find every way

    out When I was young I sang until
    my voice burned holes into my body I mean

when I was young I walked into water
and it was just water 

James O’Bannon was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He holds a BA in English from Northern Kentucky University and an MFA in poetry from Fresno State University. His writing has appeared in Waxwing, Spry Literary Journal, Nomadic Ground, Flies, Cockroaches, and Poets, and is forthcoming from Triquarterly.