Boys don't cry

poetic_star's picture

Trucks speed through my turquoise dreams,
taking fathers away from
their disappointed sons.
And I'm stuck in a dizzy spell,
always searching for mine,
even when he's sleeping
only a few doors down
the hall of our North Sea Texas house.

Friend, you showed up one summer day
at the public pool when
I was learning to swim
and grabbed my arm as
I thrashed in the deep end,
my heart panicking as
it thumped chlorine and fear.
But you kept me from drowning,
boy, like an angel of
the kill me-kiss me sort.

You weren't afraid to show me
the Aztec flowers tattooed across
your stomach underneath your shirt.
And while I acted tough, almost mean,
you smiled genuinely.
They told us, "Boys don't cry."
But you never cared,
made sure I saw how beautiful
your male tears were against
the nutmeg tint of
your cheekbones.

Adults made us seem more
complicated than
we actually were.
But that summer was about
dead birds falling
from the clouds,
dipping towards the asphalt
like a ladle of milk.
It was about a car,
boy, heading straight
for your shadow,
and my feet running
against hot gravel,
trying to make it in time
as my knuckles bled purple.

I wanted you in my bruised arms,
friend, your long
hair sliding through my fingers;
soft as eagle feathers,
black as the charcoal
you used to draw portraits with.

Today I don't know
what to think but
I'm tired of being miserable
and I just want you to make me
understand why when it rains,
those phantom drops slice
right through my desert flesh;
why I only laugh
when we do something stupid
like throw our shoes across
the yellow lines in the road,
and when I dream,
it's my brother's face that
clouds my vision,
making me think
of prison cells and
lonely rocking chairs.
I miss you when I'm scared.

Boy, El Paso is where
I buried your name,
where I proved to myself
that I could be happy because
you liked the feel of my hand
between your shoulder blades.
But if this universe was different,
then I would be yours for real.