With his face still and his eyes closed,
with his face still and his chest rising and falling
at the reigns of some wild dream driving him reckless,
with his face still and his mouth clamped down
on the tattered skirt of his stuffed animal companion,
with his face still and his arm crooked back
over his head, fingers tangled in mopped strands
of hair still damp from the shower,
with his face still, with his face finally so still
you notice where his cheekbones rest,
notice the small freckles slowly over the years
marking the degrees of his smile,
with his face still
who can tell what will be?
What old buildings will find him?
Brick walls, bouncers of a thousand voices before him,
chairs scraping floor back through the decades
and forward into unseeable distance,
and friends laughing into formulas of life
as if they invented this place.
But who am I to say they didn’t, or he won’t?
No air has passed over chords
like it has over his, no corners
of mouth have turned precisely the angles
his lips swell into, no eyes take the pigment
of any other soul and give it to the open spaces
as his, perhaps to be received, perhaps to be judged,
perhaps to be loved, perhaps to be preyed on,
perhaps to be shut out entirely.
With his face so still
is there no other desire but to hold in stasis?
Or must I always let go and watch him away?