Vapor Boys


There's nothing I can do now. I have their faces,

tattoos burned with bursts of light

on my open eyes. What I see, I see for good:


stacks of bodies

that, like any good pioneer, I could have mapped—


now there's nothing.

If a mother here has a dry eye, you know

it's only because she's boiling inside

the way some fever took her son

in its misty vapor and was gone

without a whistle.


If there's a lover with no arms,

you know it's because he's forgiven them,

those useless tools

with their articulate fidget at the ends.


Every day the world sucks down more sun

and packs it away. Nights, then,

are about radiation: this warmth

hissing back toward the blinding noise

that gave it up


and for us, it means

that slowly, one of us who dies

will enter the rest of us as a breath

or a bright light

or a photograph of a gorgeous young man

who smiles with a fire

where his teeth should be.



Places I've Been

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