- You're in a car with a beautiful boy, and he won't tell you that he loves
you, but he loves you. And you feel like you've done something terr-
ible, like robbed a liquor store, or swallowed pills, or shoveled yourself
a grave in the dirt, and you're tired. You're in a car with a beautiful boy,
and you're trying not to tell him that you love him, and you're trying to
choke down the feeling, and you're trembling, but he reaches over and
he touches you, like a prayer for which no words exist, and you feel your
heart taking root in your body, like you've discovered something you
don't even have a name for.
'You Are Jeff' by Richard Siken (2005)
You’re in a room with a beautiful boy and you want so badly to just reach over and touch him, caress his flawless skin, feel the bones under his skin shift as he reaches over to you but he’s crying and clutching his throat, tears splashing onto the polished floorboards, and you want to comfort him, tell him everything will be okay, but you were never the optimist that he is -- was -- and even he’s. He’s gone.
“It’ll be okay,” you say anyway, but he shakes his head, and you can see the stray hairs on his jawline that he missed this morning, and you find nothing more beautiful, or more tragic, in that moment than those forgotten hairs, seemingly innocuous and meaningless, but you know it would matter to him, but nothing matters now.
“It’ll be fine,” you say, and he smiles bitterly, the warm from his eyes gone, the flush in his cheeks from something less innocent than embarrassment or happiness.
“No,” he says, and that word has never silenced you faster in your life. “It won’t be,” he says, and you find yourself at a loss, dropping to your knees and reaching over, taking one of his hands in yours, feeling the bones shift as he tries to move away, but you grab it tight, entwine your fingers, and bring it to your mouth.
“You’re beautiful anyway,” you say, and the words feel foreign in your mouth but the tear stained smile on his lips is familiar, and that’s what matters.