I loved a sad boy once.
Each atom of my body ached to tangle with his,
And when our fingers curled around each other my blood warmed almost to a boil.
The mere anticipation of meeting flesh to flesh would actually burn and
The muscles in my legs would tighten in stubborn refusal as I'd walk away.

I loved a sad boy once
And he loved me in the way that he could.

I loved a boy who'd toil over poems about the sheer musicality of existence and the ache of normalcy-
But never a girl.
I loved a boy who listened to records and dreamed of wide open spaces;
Locked inside his skin cage, he'd start by ripping the seams.

I loved a boy who looked in the mirror and all he saw
Was the negative of a photograph,
Spliced image from summers past
From when the air low and hung heavy in the sky and his mother told him
'you are not enough.'

I loved a boy who so desperately wanted to be a man.
He gripped my hair. Tight.
He Kissed me. Hard.
He read me script after script of romantic comedies as we made love on his old twin bed
And we both believed every word.

I loved a boy so in love with love
That he would scrawl hatred into his wrists.
He went through the motions of the day
Eating and sleeping like any person would,
Holding me closely and wondering what he was still missing.

I loved a boy in the way a woman loves a man
And the boy loved me with every bone in his broken body.
He loved me in the way in the way an English professor loves books. In the way a child loves toys.
In the way a suicide risk loves their gun.

I loved boy who I set free
Together, we pulled at the seams of his skin cage
Breaking loop after loop until he was finally able to shed it completely.
And as he stood before me, all bones and muscle and sinew,
He smiled me an apology
To which I could only respond, I love you.

I loved a sad boy once.
I loved a boy
Who did not love me.