Leo with the spindly frame, Leo with the too short days and endless nights, Leo who walks like a shadow darting across the walls hardly daring to be seen, a boy avoiding crowds, arms crossed in knots, sits in a room 8 years too young, thumbing through the infinite pages of life's mysteries, holds smooth black stones in open palms to the rain at the edge of those long and winding roads that are lined with tunnels of trees and pillars, takes matches between his teeth to splinter the tongue that so badly wants to speak.
Leo, harsh or gentle, tries to wrap his arms around cold air, too close to nothing, still never falters. Holds his upper lip stiff as a board, closes his chest like a cupboard filled with terrible secrets, shakes his furrowed brow, mumbles nothing's to the carpet, tiptoes down the stairs that groan under his fragile weight, because tonight, like so many nights before, he has to help the broken girl under boxes and brass pipes, sort through the mess of her head with the man in his own, gives her polished rocks to rub between her fingers to quell the demons, but he knows he cannot help.
Leo in those battered bones, with peeling fingertips, crammed into little glass vials, filled to the brim with waters and weeds, mouth corked with a cap so tight that a whisper could barely escape if it tried. Leo in hands as cold as death itself, skin so pale and clear that you can see the little thump of a heartbeat, and the stream of ice blue blood through thread-like veins creating a web of eyes, lips, voices, hands, a spindly frame that could collapse upon itself with a single blow. Leo whose eyes are sharp as arrows, words striking off that flint stone tongue, flicking sparks into the gasoline soaked pages, dripping with rage, lighting a fire that will never be silenced, hands curled into fists that tremble in fear of what they might do. Leo who's greatest fear is the second voice inside his head, another life he has to lead, another mask he has to wear, sits screaming behind that too familiar phlegmatic face, that strained jaw so sharp I'm sure he's accidentally cut himself on it before, Leo with too nice shelves, the untied shoes, presses his lips into a firm line, wavers oceans in that cracking voice, puts one finger to the screen and disappears without a sound.