Casey Rocheteau

All Summer Sixteen


The summer was supposed to start cocooned in you,

our bodies two salt licks, disintegrating into one.


A week ago I was on all fours for weed and mediocrity

running through a Rolodex of people I’d rather mount.


I refuse to tell therapists about the things they would describe

as self-destructive behaviors. I cherish my hedonism, divorce


it from the winter spent ignoring the last assault. Slow and still

and on my grind. I wouldn’t want to look less than high functioning.


You said yes, so I bought a plane ticket. A week later, you weren’t up

early but still awake from coke. Your bike got stolen. You got into a car accident.


You met somebody, all of you. I’ve gained more siblings than nights

spent beside someone. I put in prep work for solitude. You fucked it up,


telling me you wanted my Venus in your mouth. I deserved it,

just this once. Either you loved me or you didn’t. You say


I’m the only one you trust and you can’t lose me.

Stash my heartbreak in other people’s cities,


I don’t shit where I eat.

Self sabotage is something I’ve read about.


My last father keeps disappearing.

My mother is certain my brother won’t care when she dies.


Who should I pay to be telling all of this to? Would it make you stay?

If I dug in real deep, who could love me?


Who can now?

No tell me who




Art Therapy with Kanye


Even the dining room smells like piss and bleach

but it’s the only common space we have. A nice

white twenty-something lays out magazines

and glue sticks, but won’t let us use scissors.

I flip through her book of wallpaper samples

while he leers at her sweater. When we refused

the paper cups of errant pills we didn’t realize

they’d keep us longer, so we come to this stupid

puppet show and scribble crayon Basquiats

to win back points because they won’t let us

have a studio. He keeps babbling about

how they would never have done this to

Steve Jobs or Walt Disney but he’s tryna

get insurance validation and I dissolve

my will in frozen orange juice. He wants

to talk about Le Corbusier but I detest

fascist architecture, the scaffolding cages,

the towers he keeps trying to build on air.


Casey Rocheteau was the recipient of the inaugural Write A House permanent residency in Detroit in September 2014. Casey has attended Callaloo Writer’s Workshop, Cave Canem, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in Sicily. Their second collection of poetry, The Dozen, was published on Sibling Rivalry Press in March 2016.

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