Between the dead and the animals a boy ought to be able to find some semblance


If you really loved me you’d have been on time—

We lay down one night,
not to rise. Lover, you said, don’t ever
let me age.

So scattered I am, passing through their dusty hands.
A dating material, our brittle bodies. Essential

to everything that dies. Even
the mauve gloaming—we know that
color and not—

say taupe, say luscious,
say elder, and then again—say any other color you can name. Say

we listen like an untended fire. Say
if you really loved me
don’t ever

let me age

into the crackling of flashbulbs.
You would never lean,
I swear, to regain composure. Say

to the left in most photos
you sway—imbalanced—
an impatient bag of earth,

I swear, say
never let me

away
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