John

The creak of the seesaw
in July darkness,
up, down, buzz-blond,
ice-blue eyes crinkling

with mirth at your own
anecdote-just home
from years in London,
tales of a bootshine

boy, of DJing,
photoshoots, drunk-dialing
Boy George at a party-
red, gold, and green,

we'd all shout-we're still
wet from the back lawn
of your parents' house,
trying to keep quiet,

only the soft rustle
of flesh on flesh
and the clicks and chirps
of nighttime creatures,

green stains on our elbows,
mud on our backs-
up, down, buzz-blond,
ice-blue eyes crinkling

at the corners,
something changes-we stop,
balanced perfectly
still, faces slack-jawed

in the silence, afraid
even to breathe,
as if we have both
noticed all at once

someone has noticed us
from a house nearby.
One of us whispers
I think we should go,

the barest groan
of the rust-hinged seesaw
marks our dismount,
panicked sprint together-

to the safe glow
of neighborhood streetlamps,
chests heaving, the held
breath rushing back out-

up, down, buzz-blond,
ice-blue eyes crinkling-
always just at the edge
of the circle of light,

and beyond it, sky,
indigo as old bruise-
my gut clenched in freefall,
this ride I can't get off.



Chad Frame