Lost Boy

who says we aren’t primarily animals for instance
you recognize at once the smell of doom and keep away unless
you’re drawn by pheromones like a soldier ant or for once you worry
about your soul he reeked of doom despised by those he loved one parent
missing one parent Pentacostal disgusted by the queer parts of himĀ 
he was himself disgusted self-despising snarling sick

unto death the chronic contagious sickness of our times
a righteous judgment was what he called it the rash
erupted over and over no meds no money no readiness
for help if there’d been help no self-defense unless you count
self-sabotage the wounds were old and ugly he kept them fresh he was quick
to take offense except from me and for what for merely a kindness

that brought me letters photos poems seeds saved from his yard roses
profuse on the cards for Mother’s Day on valentines because I was a surrogate
it cost me nothing until he chose oblivion the news was no surprise his gift
was always making something out of nothing  end