• Watch that boy
    right there with the black hair
    He seems so ordinary with his silhouette
    Plastered against a bright blue sky
    With his back facing you and his hoodie
    Flailing in the wind

    You watch him and he watches out
    At the bleeding horizon; wondering if
    He could save it somehow

    “Do you think I could reach out,” he says,
    “and rescue the sunlight before it dies?”
    And though you can’t see his face,
    You know his eyes are full of sky
    And small shards of reflected light
    Looking like a jewelry box
    Glinting with topaz

    He turns around;
    Reveals his face;
    And smiles with complete politeness
    Like your lifelong relationship
    Had been a five minute first meeting
    Maybe because it was the first five minutes
    That you’d realized you’d become someone different
    During those few seconds he’d been standing there
    Looking at the sun

    “Someday I’m going to steal that sun,”
    And he turns on his heel and walks past you
    But grabs your hand in the process;
    Refusing to leave you behind.

    And you stagger, but he steadies you
    As you and he head down the hill
    To go back home where you can pretend
    That you are still the same

    But you take a different turn;
    Head off the familiar road and into a forest
    As dusk breathes over the land
    You wade through trees
    With his hand in yours
    Until he breaks ahead of you
    And his form is interrupted
    By hundreds of black branches

    Something in your heart
    Commands your feet to stop
    So you stop short
    And stand so suddenly
    A few feet away from him
    Breathing hard
    Like you’d been running
    Your entire life

    You and he;
    Facing each other
    Separated by invisible space
    That might have been maturity
    Or beauty or grace
    In true form

    “Why’d you stop right there?”
    He asks; a confused look marring his face
    As you gulp and cover your eyes
    To hide the tears you can’t explain

    And the crisp October wind
    Whispers through the forest in threads
    Unraveling the outline
    Of the black haired boy;
    The colors of his clothes and skin
    Beginning to drizzle into disarray
    As you peak through the cracks in your fingers

    You watch his featureless face distort
    Into an abstract scream
    Before all the colors of what he once was
    Cascade onto the forest floor
    And seep back into the earth
    Like frightened rabbits