the crystalline rays of the sun
refracted through evaporated dreams of a distant playground
my parents built for me.
Pass me through and see my colors.
Red blood, red bone Marlboro, red trailing off blue smoke
between you and me.
and you are so close I can smell your sweat mixing with ash.
“Man-up. Real men don’t cry.”
I think about the swarm of limbs humming concertos of broken bottles and broken
marriages; holes in plaster walls.
The next time your hand finds my face, I don’t raise my arms up.
Instead, watching as red skin
marries blue smoke, birthing violet bruises.
“Am I a man yet?”
You don’t answer.
And my eyes grow like plums,
so ripe that
in the expanding darkness
I could be human.
Patrick Wang is 16 years old; he lives in Johns Creek, Georgia. Fun fact: Patrick looks after numerous plants named after famous scientists. His favorite is Copernicus Fernicus.