to see him now, skin stretched over new gut flesh
and shoulders cast with a broadness though

a sad sloped form of the ones I knew
from when we were kids

pissing in the bath we shared
like our face or crabapple halves

summer-plucked and pocketknife-sliced to feel
their sour sticky wet between our fingers

pressed together for the prints to mash
those halves now tucked rotting beneath beds

they shrink up brown down
don’t tesselate the way they did

but somewhere in their wrinkled flesh sits a knife split
where they used to touch and tug and grow

John Mark Brown is a queer poet from Southern Illinois, a senior creative writing student at Eastern Illinois University, and a cardigan enthusiast. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Indiana Review Online, Yellow Chair Review, Indiana Voice Journal, and Rat’s Ass Review, among others. He can be found embarrassing himself on Twitter: @johnbrownie13.

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