When I was young and tiny enough to do it,
I would lie for hours with my pencils and my crayons
and draw the world on the underside of my parents’
wooden living room table.
When they discovered what I had done,
I remember anger, probably yelling, but I also remember
more pencils and crayons every birthday.
The little wooden table is still in our living room.
I crawl under it sometimes just to see again.
I know, I did it.
When I was in kindergarten, I got sent to the principle’s office
for the same crime. A sorry, sir to the big man in the big suit.
I didn’t do it because it was wrong, because I liked
being wrong, but because I really just liked drawing,
and I didn’t think the tables would mind having
my world on them. Was it weird or something?
Yes, we don’t do that kind of thing here.
I have since stopped drawing under tables,
which I’ve learned is called vandalism, not drawing.
I wonder if writing is considered vandalism.
Am I smothering myself on public property?
We call it poetry not graffiti, but I wonder which is the better word.
I’m not ashamed.
You can’t make me ashamed like you once did.
This is as much my world as it is yours,
and I’ll deface it and beautify it as much
as I want, is that vandalism,
that long, funny word?
When I was sixteen I wrote a poem
and called it Drawing Under Tables.
I’m still doing it.