You didn’t know what to wear, and worse,
you weren’t told what to think. The other kids
called you lame, and weird, but a fur-lined sweatshirt
and athletic shorts with goth-boots suited you, somehow.
A boy bloodied you up and called you
faggot, and I didn’t hurt you but didn’t
stop him. I think about that sometimes, and I
wonder where you are now. I wonder what would
be different if I wasn’t a coward? Would our lives
be better, or would we both be beaten, thrown
to the ground, two more weird and lame
bodies gone to dust on an ancient, endless road

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