Two bicycles, one twisted and its back wheel spinning crazily;
one boy limps, the right half of his body
supported by the other’s hip; we grow up separately and unavoidably
flawed, in the way a tomato plant
will bend in the rain until the main stalk snaps
and small black ants emerge from the ground to consume its mess.
The limping boy’s knees are torn to bits.
Scraps of gravel cling to the insides of his cuts.
The other boy (and he is “other”) spots a hose lying unmanned
on a nearby lawn. By tracing the hose to its source,
he cleans the gravel off. This is what love is.
Cleaning up after other people. Neither of the boys
knows this yet, or would find it particularly interesting.
It’s summer. The bicycle is smashed. One boy will implode without the other.