I knew a boy who lit up blocks at a time with his shadow
who had ears that would stick out like curious pleas
past his childhood hair and baby cheeks.
Ears that said:
“tell me something,
I want you to talk to me”
And I did,
but I stopped and saw very little of him until these past few months.
He grew up to be a beautiful man
no, no, no,
Do not correct me with gender appropriate terminology.
Beautiful like socially unacceptable
Beautiful like hunters shouldn’t be
Beautiful like soft hands and a softer heart
Beautiful like if we were truly made in God’s image he took the whole of compassion
But he never allowed himself the same kindness
Like skinny boy who haunts himself at night
Because mirrors tell those curious ears that his ribs were really long thin fingers reaching to grab his throat and strangle him into silence.
And that people don’t look at him because they couldn’t understand how hair could be as dark as night, or skin as elegant as rosemary, or eyes as deep as oceans.
And he tried
To end the night
But he failed
And I don’t know what hurts me more
That he even tried, or that he’s still hurting.