Hatches unbattened

In which I find someone I had lost

A boy I once knew slouches cock-sure on a ratty red velvet sofa.

A decade dead, but still in those tight jeans, legs crossed, grin in his eyes.

I never grieved for him properly, unable to puzzle out just how long forever feels.

But tonight, I curl under his arm, head to a bony shoulder that no longer exists,

Pressed against a heart that pumped kindness with every beat.

He laughs at the girl who never knew how to unbatten hatches,

Who snarked from behind razor wire fences

That she hoped would cover a permanent state of panic.

A different person sits beside him. 

She’s better at opening heart to heart,

Letting others see her weep without shame,

Allowing feelings to flow even when her mind screams. 

He, who never had the chance to grow older, 

Already knew how to do all those things a decade younger. 

It turns out forever feels longer every day.

And ‘never’ ties a weight to your heart strings,

So they plumb a depth ungrounded.

I’m going to stay here a while longer

Next to a boy I once knew, on a ratty red velvet sofa.

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