Staying Up Late to Watch Down to Earth with Zac Efron

CW: Body Dysphoria

I’d binge that Onion video on Disney cloning kids
and force a laugh when they said Zac Efron was
the product of a bad batch.
There’s a certain deadness around his eyes
can’t you see
whenever they’d slap my stomach and pinch my cheeks
I’d think about what it means to see deadness.
When they see me they are watching
the eleven-year-old sobbing at the loss
your high school photo slipping out of my pocket
while losing a baseball game.

I bought High School Musical: Sing It! at a discount
from the local Game Stop while my brother grabbed
a few buds from the bare bones man behind Blockbuster
but never played it unless my family was asleep.
I could never manage more than a whisper when singing,
afraid that everything would break under me.
at the doctor’s office
mom shook her head and watched
my stomach bulge with stubborn weight then asked
why I couldn’t be like my brother.

But when I found out that you discovered your alcoholism,
I returned to you and realized we both were hidden inside ourselves.
I’d take the made-up job as a water sommelier
if it meant I could pour you something to settle your stomach
and mine.

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jacob Price has had to leave home and is still finding his way back. He’s a poet that plays more videogames than he does write poetry, and he’s finally okay with that.

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