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Sometimes, I see other versions of my body. In the

mirror. In other people's eyes. Boy dozing in the

long grass of a summer field. Boy with his fingers

in his mouth, gnawing his cuticles to ragged

lines. Boy as a mixtape, a ditch waiting to be

filled with rain, a safe place for foxes to be

born. Boy buried in mud. Boy carried off by

pigeons. Boy as a castle in the sky made of

starched white sheets, weighing less than a sack

of rats, two slow for his father’s hand. Boy as a

wind chime in a storm, for there is never a good

way to talk about pain, and how it means you are

only ever kissing the image of another boy’s face

in the river, hearing his voice through the dying

connection of the last working payphone in this

town where I was born. But then. Boy split into

pieces. Boy washing blood from the back of his

legs. Boy who will never again kneel in church.

Boy tearing himself apart. Boy as a broken guitar

Boy as a hawk I carry in my mouth without causing

hurt. Boy as an old feather, ragged and torn. Boy

as a raging fire. As bright as a cathedral. As a

shooting star. As just another heartbeat. Boy who

will not call one more awful thing into this


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