Bonus Cut Poetry: “danny” By Ariel Kaplowitz


This is Bonus Cut Poetry, a series that features original poems by Bonus Cut staff, artists and YOU! In this series, our mission is to bring people together in poetry, share stories and display wonderful artistic pieces. If you would like to have your poems in the next Bonus Cut Poetry installment, just email us at

This installment features guest-writer Ariel Kaplowitz.

By: Ariel Kaplowitz

danny is the one with the lungs.
we knew the second he was born: this
kid would make some noise. he
started talking earlier than most kids;
his first word was my name. he had brown darting eyes
and pink orbs for cheeks. danny made noise with every part of his body.
at the age of three, he memorized the words
to “American Pie” and howled it, stomping along to the rhythm.
danny wore cymbals on his shoes.
his tantrums were thunderstorms. his laughter was symphonies.
he outsmarted every ghost in our house.
they left him alone, even as the rest of us huddled and
jumped at the shadows. danny sang over them.
he held our hands when we were afraid.
he snuggled next to any warm skin.
he loved bodies. when we went to
the pool in summer, he would go up to strangers
and pinch flabs of their stomachs, just
to fill the space between his fingers with
the reality of another person’s flesh.

danny is thirteen. at any moment, he might sprout
like a geyser into the world, a tall man with a creaky voice and
stubble on his round cheeks. the doctor predicts he’ll be
over six feet. danny will start kissing people and
having secrets. he will start holding back his bellow and squeal, his
echo, his glitter. I want to keep in a jar all the danny i know, the sweet
squishy kid who pins down the dinnertable with his voice –
I want danny to always stay danny, whose soul clicks and snaps like
a typewriter on a glass kitchen counter –
I want to preserve the night we played monopoly and danny hollered
and farted and roared, when danny thought my
jokes were funny and touched my knee, when
danny, losing, still tried to make me a deal.
This is how I want to remember my danny, before he decides
to lose weight, turn in, tame down. I want to remember
this cinnamon freckle boy, this everything-bagel kid. Too late,
I realize that I’d tear the world to shreds to keep
danny exactly like this, a glowing little sun. Too late, I realize
that everything about danny has been a gallop and a feast,
and that I am lucky to have been running along.

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5 thoughts on “Bonus Cut Poetry: “danny” By Ariel Kaplowitz

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