There’s a boy whose face I’ve touched,
once, like these black birds peck
and lick at frozen cat food sitting outside my door
in pie tins that clatter against anything
that will touch them. Eventually,
they will drag their tinny bottoms
across the driveway’s cement
until they rest against a spigot’s dry mouth
as if to say whatever the price, I’ll pay.
A bruise. A sheaf of paper. An attic.
Peter, where is the checkered suit
you snagged against a stray nail
when we lie together
straighter than the attic boards
that warped beneath us.
How did we know this was not enough?
A boot. A creak. A cloud of dust
rising from a blanket
that covered our shattering cheeks.
Your lips moving against the back of my neck
even as I pulled away. Peter,
I, too, love anything that reaches and fails.

Roger Reeves