• Dear Suzie,

    How are you doing?
    Me? I'm not so great,
    mommy beat me up today.
    But breakfast was good,
    got a big plate of gravel
    and downed it with some water.
    I even asked for a second serving
    and she gave me all the bowl,
    so nice of her! I said thank-you
    and left my teeth on my plate
    to be given to the poor.

    But the past weeks have been so bad!
    They made me go out in the streets
    and beg for love with a broken cup in hand.
    Everyone kept passing by, not looking,
    not turning round, not even once,
    and one who did smile down at me
    proved out to be a liar;
    he broke my cup against the floor.

    Next I went out by the corner,
    auntie's fiddle in my hand
    and I played till crack of day,
    with a shard of the old cup beside me.
    I was no longer begging,
    but now trying to win their hearts
    with music made by me and others alike,
    with lively dancing tunes
    and heart-breaking wails of the fiddle's strings.
    I played and played until my ears turned deaf,
    yet all I ever got from it
    was a sideways scornful look
    and them spitting in my cup,
    old piece of an old useless cup.

    I then turned to cold dark alleys
    that hid inside them lonely strangers
    with hollowed eyes and ragged clothes,
    pale skin and alluring legs.
    I went among them and they made me one of theirs,
    taught me how to look for men
    who took us with them and again I tried
    to earn a piece of warmth from them,
    but the coins they paid me were cold
    so I took my broken cup and left.

    I even covered my face with a cloth
    and entered banks and markets
    and menaced them with my broken cup
    to give me their hidden loved possessions
    and feelings money could still buy,
    but they just laughed again
    and let the men with sirens take me away,
    clutching the same old cup in my shaking hand.

    They took me to a dark place,
    a room with walls of steel,
    they gave me a name tag and told me to behave.
    The ones around me simply stared,
    too lost in their own sins to see my plead.
    When in the end they did,
    they simply forced themselves upon me
    and I froze; their hearts were so cold...
    I learnt from them, though, the art
    of taking what I want by force,
    but those I would abuse were silent,
    like stones being kicked about,
    they screamed, but not really quite.
    I was released from prison and my evil,
    I even hit one of my past aggressors
    with the sharp shard in my hand,
    the cup had already been marred.

    You see now, dear Suzie, why I write you this...
    I wonder if even you understand
    what I want to tell you, my only confident.
    This morning was sunny, it was a perfect day,
    I took a swig from daddy's rum
    and took my eye out. You said it looked so nice
    and that you liked what you saw in it.
    After I finish this, I will hang myself
    from the ceiling of my room.
    That's why I won't be there giving you the eye
    in a small green jar labelled "peas",
    that will be my little dog on your threshold.
    I'm not giving you the broken cup, though...
    Because it's been so marred and dirtied
    broken in so many places and I also fear
    that you will add to the cracks
    if I ever offered it to you.

    the boy with a broken cup.