Persephone as a Boy

 

He never says what he feels.

His father used to say, "Your face is like a flower."

He wilts when he thinks about loneliness.

At seven he wakes with the sun, imagines it burning through the window.

He dreams he has cancer but has never been to a doctor.

Yesterday he imagined it even better: a spectacular New York end: crazy taxi,

stray bullet, runaway train—

In the final scene he's lying there with wide eyes,

mouth trembling like a wilting flower, struggling to speak to his father,

who is holding his hand and saying, "Don't try to say anything. I love you."

At eight he walks to the corner store for small things, just to remind himself he is alive:

daisies, oatmeal, salt.

Passing the subway stairs on his way home he realizes he could go underground

here and by ticket and transfer not emerge again from the earth for hundreds

of miles.

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