In loco parentis are the open feet of stairs
warding like loveless guards
the boys’ and girls’ flights and fancies.
They trip us up on our ways, too hasty.
On my crummy stoop I find a flower.
Battered. From you. You ascend
the eaves and I singly shunt myself up
a stairwell as I’ve done and done one
then another since I was first a girl in institutes.
Cruel feet. Unnatural place for youth
to test out drunk and fuck as practiced words—
beneath the order stairs command us rise.
Goodnight. Sign me out for five.
Meet me by my dorm. I want you
flower boy to be my first love.
I want to break you. To break your tender
waking heart. To wake tonight and zone
illicit against your breast. Mix up our subjects.
Do one another’s at-home work in a little world
of climbing that is not home
so must be something like a half-place.
Taylor Daynes grew up in Wenham, Massachusetts. She currently resides in Baltimore, where she writes, teaches and is pursuing an MFA at The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins.