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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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