as some boy or man inevitably will,
it may be that he is still growing from one
into the other, or unaware of what he wants,
hasn’t learned the language that lifts
your diamond soles.
It could be his longing bends toward a secret
other, who may someday stir
a slumbering ache, blow its acrid tang
across your harbor
Or perhaps it is you he travels
toward after all, nameless color
of a stain he traces, maze
of sugar in his palm.
because is just because.
The point is, no is not an exclamation
mark, parentheses curled around the sum
of still becoming.
You remain you, sass rolled
onto your tongue, glitter streak
in your veins.
And though a shuttered yes can halt
flight, blast its shadow
into the breath of future wanting
you must know:
you are the kingdom and the key,
bone of unbreakable sun-bright
bone, gift of sky and orchard filling
up space and always
the beholder —
supernova flash, cosmos of song
tempted, among boys becoming
men and men afraid of being men,
belongs to them.
(for my niece)