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Summer Camp

by Trapper Markelz

I found myself lying in bed debating

the death of the dinosaurs with a creationist.

His girlfriend filed down her fingernails

so she could scrape my rib cage in the pool.


I think she files down her teeth as well.

I’d breathe heavy in those rooms, fighting

over scraps and taking fleshy prizes.

Hours I’d spend in a sound-proof box,


putting up a good front, channeling Mozart,

let me play for you Ah vous dirai-je, Maman.

Aren’t I fancy? This is the real world with its

cement walls, heavy petting, and petty wars.


Most of my day was spent figuring out how

to touch and be touched. If there is one lesson,

it would be to keep your door open

and your hands ready, and there is always

someone working against you to prevent it.

About the Author

Trapper Markelz is a husband, father of four, poet, musician, and cyclist, who writes from Boston, Massachusetts. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in the journals Baltimore Review, Stillwater Review, and others. You can learn more about Trapper at

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