sometimes, he would sleep on the benches at the church
or lay across the swings like a hammock.
if you bothered to ask, he’d quietly tell you
that a home is where the loved ones live
and he only had room in his heart for spiders
and they didn’t care if he kept his socks clean, so
‘any table or bench will do.’
his mouth was split and his hands were dirty
and he was an artist, you know, with a bit of a creaky mind
but if you caught him on a good day, when his eyes weren’t so far,
he’d speak of a sea tinted green, where the air is clean
and life is a bit easier.
her mother begged her to be pretty, to stay clean
to wear dresses laced with pink spider string
and ‘Good Lord child, put down those nasty things
you’re a lady, not a beast not a dog not a lad!’
and when she was a teen she snuck out of bed
to go paint by the light of the stars.
she was an artist, you know,
with skinny hands and no patience for bows
or soup or spoons.
she wanted mud and wire and fire and goats
and butterflies and love and motes
but most of all, she wanted to see him
to share chalk with him once again
and dance with no beat and
have the world fall away and leave nothing but them.
A boy can stay in one place only so long
before the spiders start to feel wrong.
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