spelling bee poem

turpitude / teratology / credo

First round: Synonym for depravity. Synonym for futility

of the spine, how it tries to hold the body up. Synonym

for a back against bricks, wiry boy-fingers circling a

small wrist, synonym for all that lives in me is shameful.

I'm stalling, asking for a language of origin, some river

valley to latch onto. The footing never takes. I place eighth.

Next year: The study of monsters, more specifically,

the monstrous. Everyone knows -ology, it's the rest that

evades. So I study them, mark their territory. Does my brain's

hidden camera count as cheating? Never trust the girl

with lenses for eyes. Who is monster here? Click. Beware

the type of tiny girl who knows more than she deserves.

Final chance: How to formulate belief in a land so devoid?

I am still trying, pacing the prize table, loser's paradise. Watch

me weigh my options, land first on honey-pot cookie jar, bypass

for a gift card. What a busy bee, later I'll know better. Have we

met? I study monsters, depravity. Belief is hard to come by.

I only miss the words I haven't seen.