There he is,
bony-shouldered, striding toward me
on a quiet street. The necklace
of his clavicle juts out through his T-shirt,
as hard as a jaw
down a long hall of rumors.
His hair is gelled hard, his body’s hilt, scared to sway,
helmeted against the strong wind that can start
the sound of a fire in the leaves.
His sides plaster his arms, he’s harnessed
in by his hardness.
When we cross, he comes up to my eyes.
His chin is scarless.
Kevlar of his mouth. Quiver couldn’t touch it.
A grandmother’s funeral will change that.
Tears can change the face to vapor in the bathroom mirror,
mist the vision. Past him now.
I turn to see his hands
make a starched collar of scratching his neck,
They need somewhere to go, his hands. Some cave.
Front page image by Leland Francisco.