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Bobby Seratto
By Nathaniel Goldberg
Copyright 2000 Nathaniel Goldberg
A poem about the writer's childhood friend.

When I was five we lived in
Pelham Manor.
Bobby, my best friend
tore his sister's doll apart
to see if it would bleed.
When he found no blood,
he set it afire.
I saw him out back
in the lot around the corner.
Bobby loved fire.
His eyes would widen and his breathing
When his sister found
her favorite doll destroyed
she kicked him.
He still has the scar
below his left eye.
And so our dreams
splayed out before us
like gutted fish.
We sneaked into a neighbor's
swimming pool one August night.
We swam in the dark until lights
came on in the house.
Bobby started to laugh,
then dove under and disappeared.
I got out of the pool alone
and ran.
Bobby never got caught.