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Dec 2019
sleep curved miles of patched dead boys into me like a scythe.
their quilts were not mine to sweat through,
to drench nightly with my self.
but i cried out anyway.
said i needed stained warmth more than coffins ever could.
bare as they were.
prodigal as they were.
i turn aside in bed. i sweat it out.
sleep handed me its crowded city plots and boxes of
one-way ticket disownment boiled down
to an art exhibit of photographed bodies.
black and white bodies. end of life bodies.
i tore them into manageable halves.
their varied human pieces quilted themselves together onto the floor.
their eyes floated to land at my shoes.
i stared.

yet it was sleep who drew in
the fluttering array of lost bandanas dyed with every coy color
present on the rare days here
that always smelled more like mornings,
the colors peeking like barefoot children just around the corners of their smirking, drowsy city avenues after rain.
sleep dreamt me an after hours carousel.
the revelry of skintight garbage bags
brimming over with ****** boys.
lovely boys.
boys with a gleam.
faceless baby boys with sores like eyes,
full of their junk they
treasured, fondled, kissed
the little pound of flesh that was theirs,
they gave freely, bait and tackle
to swallow whole.
dust bowl dumpling soft.
pulsing expectance.
those skins underneath you’d discover pressed to an eternity of sorts
between two slurs of the same brick,
that its nightless club grime
mumbled disco sickly to me & him.
and i’d be on my knees.
by a bed, a river, a quilt, a pew, an avenue, a grave.
whatever useless dreams may come,
i always find myself there.
already knelt in every way i couldn’t possibly comprehend.
gravely, maybe beautifully-
beside another slumbering boy
too distant from life not to reach for.
for all those lost to ***/AIDS+
Written by
Elijah Bowen  18/M/West Virginia
(18/M/West Virginia)   
179
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