by Emily O'Neill

The boy with the broken wrist sits
at the lake's edge trying to curl
his fingers into a fist . The fingers won't
make it past the plaster.  He'd like to know
he could still defend himself.

The girl with the phases of the moon
tattooed on her chest lets the ends of her hair trail
across the tops of her knees and says, "Baby."
Nothing else. Just, "Baby."
The boy stops moving.

He can see an entire month of sky strung
along her collarbone; in the dark
it looks like the crescent press of fingernails into palm,
so he places his palm on the space between her breasts,
reaches fingers for the weeks above them. She stares
at his thumb hooked under the curve of her
like a scythe. The plaster
cast makes her itch.

He reaches for blood.
Her heart murmurs.
He feels the hiccup, calls it
a ripple in the sky. If the boy could break
anything beautiful, it would be this moment.

The moon is not out this night.  The lake
takes its place, a large silvery silence
they can toe the rim of,
fall through, drown in.