The second time I was pulled under, my mother
brought a minister. Calmly, slowly, she instructed
him to clear my simple thoughts, brought his hands
holy and wide over me as the room slipped like molasses
from a kitchen bottle. I was made smaller in this kind
of embrace, coddled while the gay slipped almost unnoticed
from my inner-city. Behind glass, my mother watched
the doctors open me. I was brought, then, with one
less vein, to the surface. My mother told me
never to make the same mistake twice.
Peter LaBerge is a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania. His recent work appears in The Louisville Review, DIAGRAM, The Newport Review, Assaracus, and elsewhere. He is a 2013 United States Presidential Scholar in the Arts semifinalist, and currently serves as the Founder/Editor-in-Chief of The Adroit Journal. More information is available at www.peterlaberge.co.nr.