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BENT

for Jon

 

The truth is

I’ve never folded a thousand paper cranes.

 

Unless you count

every time

one of us

was

picked last

in gym class

 

every time

we choked on our own names.

 

Every time

our mothers got drunk

 

and we forgot.

 

If you count

every time

we folded in half

 

every time

her heart

showed too much skin

 

every time

he used

poetry to say goodbye

 

you would know what I know,

 

that we think we are too thin to hold ourselves up

but we take shape for each other.

 

We are corners,

we are wings.

And every thousand

I make more or less

the same wish:

 

Brother,

believe me when I tell you

how bent and beautiful

you are.