I would like to speak to me at twelve years old—
dumb little boy that he was.

I would like to hear what a fool he is
from his own mouth,
to appreciate the gravity of change. And I think
that even though he adored only figments,
kissed only unrealized lips,
and held the hands of fluid illusions,
he still loved every one of those things—
but not himself.

He did not love himself.

I wonder if I would decide to tell that abrasive boy,
"Young boy, young man, this is what I have learned,
and see here what I have done to become me:"
and I would tell him my story of ever-since—

or perhaps not. Perhaps I would not
because he could not know—

he could not know what it is to fall into a syrupy love,
a romance made of silk and Chihuly-glass;
he could not know that he alone is to blame
for his enduring exile in the valley of the unrefined.
He would not understand what I meant if I promised
the sweet, resplendent fire would not warm him
until he turns his back to it.

Today I began to see lines on my cheeks,
echoes of the way his beleaguered chin would hang low
at the sight of a small angel with green eyes
who was the unreachable fruit—

I know that he was a fool
for chasing the taste,
but I begrudge him not a moment of it.