in Appleton, Wisconsin, there is a boy named Cael
who dreams of Copenhagen and draws demonic flamingo.
his spine is curled the wrong way from countless years of binding.
his parents do not approve of his gender. he loves them anyway.
in Bay Village, Ohio, there is a girl named Roxy
who sleeps with her eyes open. her dreams climb
up her purple bedroom walls and sprinkle into her hair
as she watches, wide-eyed. she smiles like sunshine.
in Salem, Oregon, there is a boy named Andrew
who writes poetry about the laws of physics.
he is going to college to learn how to be a professional.
he has ramen-noodle hair and soup in his veins.
he told me once that sometimes, love can swallow you.
in Farmington Hills, Michigan, there is a boy named Jordan
with big hands and a smile that makes him look 6 years old.
his favorite word is cumbersome because he likes the way it rolls.
he kisses like a firework and hugs like a fireman.
i look for him in everyone.
in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, there is a boy named Kyle
who drinks green tea out of mason jars.
his dreadlocks elevate bridges and his soul is a fishing village.
his lip piercing sharpens his language; it glimmers under art museum lights.
in Naperville, Illinois, there is a girl named Alisha
who has caramel skin and warrior eyes.
she files her nails to a point and keeps her hands to herself.
she is learning how to wear joy in the creases of her forehead.
somewhere, who cares where, there is a train chugging idly
along steel tracks, maneuvering passengers through greenery and local scenes.
the stories of strangers skid along Plexiglas windows before collapsing
to the ground, run-over by wheels that have places to be.