by Mark Pajak

Inside this disused tool-shed in Hammer Wood
slatted walls morse daylight on an earth floor.

Here two local boys find a knife, its blade
freckled in rust. The older boy picks it up,

with its egg whiff of wet metal, and points
to his friend to back against the wall for a trick.

Then the younger boy’s t-shirt is hustled
over his head and rolled into a blindfold.

In its blackness, he imagines the moment held
like a knife above his friend’s head. His friend

who whispers. Don’t. Move. And then
there’s a kiss. Lips quickly snipping against his.

Silence. He’s aware of his chest, the negative
of his t-shirt. He pulls his blindfold. Looks

the older boy full in his up-close face. And sees
that he’s bleeding, everywhere, under his skin.