Lost Boys

by Eleanor Rector

i.   for Eduardo, wherever you are, if you still are
ii.   for all the children lost in the violent
 streets of Chicago

you list the ways / in which you cannot / love / or be loved / as if there’s ever been a difference / we are halfway through the depths of this forest / and if we turn back now / we’ll never find our footing / this path already dampened by dusk /


so you tell me / of the lost boys / how at birth you each were sung into an oubliette / a labyrinth without solution / you tell me how you’ve walked these esplanades into eternity / begging for escape / lost in this forest, you name each tree / count the rings / and promise one day / to boast as many scars /


you whisper now / of the lost boys / forever twisted in shadowed crossfire / their last sudden thrash burned into your retinas / you murmur the names lost in gun-smoke and the flash-bang / their faces lit with angelic catastrophes / you tell me how you, too, pray for the sainthood / the holy moment when you know you’ve escaped / where your murmuring lips pray / to a god you’ve never been sure of / although the devil haunts your every daydream / rosary wrapped so tightly around
your wrist / that your fingers slow to numb /


you remind me that soon / your body will succumb to the violence / gentle but demanding / you list the ways / that this is better than feeling at all //

Eleanor Rector is a South Florida transplant working as a crisis counselor in Chicago. She is still getting used to seasons.

Photo by: Ana Prundaru