there is something impossible about him

the way he kaleidescopes through every moment

at once a skilled navigator of our urban chaos

and in the next breath

a tall boy lost in a strange era

     I don’t have hard evidence for this

    but it is true

maybe it’s the way he takes me to restaurants

with three forks and wine glasses

while under the table

his feet are bare against the floor

sandals strewn to the side

    or maybe it’s the way he tenses slightly

    when he comes through the door

    bracing himself

    against the cold, artificial air

    that he's never quite accustomed to

I understand him best in nature

when he slips out of his shirt

in one smooth motion

revealing the way his skin reflects the color of the dirt

and when I breathe against his neck

my mind fills with earth, ocean, and smoke

    I follow him

    and we are kids again

    climbing cliffs until our knees bleed

    plunging from the diving board in a series of dares

    eating all the ice cream our parents could never afford

and when the cicadas begin to call in the evening dim

we collapse onto a blanket

where he falls asleep with a particular sort of boyish abandon

that doesn’t seem fair to put into words

    it’s the moments right before he sleeps

    that I like the best

    he looks into the branches—a tall, lost boy again

    and there is something behind his eyes

    in the quiet

    that I've loved from the start