I Pointed to the Graveyard Swingset

and we pounded the brakes. The poor Honda carved and scraped wet cement, howled into the night so we could be children again. 

Cold buried itself deep in our lungs, fog ran from our voices. We both knew we’d catch cough that December night, both knew the playground would be home to sickness and silence. 

The orange street light glistened on our wet skin, our jackets sunk in mist. We chased the swing set, wet footsteps croaked beneath us. 

Forgive me, Michael, for using your name, but you were vibrantly there just as you still are now in these words, only these words. 

There were graves laid in front of us as we swang, lives listening to our teeth chatter. Do you think they’re jealous? you asked, and I said, We’ll need cough drops to fight this cold. 

And so we jumped as high as we could from the sets, scalps catching water like cattails in southern storms, landing hand in hand. We were school kids shooting like stars, pretending we were immortal.

 

I took you in my arms and the coffins flexed. I asked you, Why can’t this night be eternal like the dead? 

I beg you again, Michael: Forgive me wholly for keeping us alive, for wearing you out on my sleeve, for making you perpetual, for raising corpses, for jumping, for flying, for falling.

Bio:

Zachery Noah Rahn (he/him) is a queer poet and essayist with a bachelor's in Writing & Linguistics from Georgia Southern University. He enjoys watching horror movies, rollerblading, and spending time with his cat. You can find his work in Alien Literary Magazine, Stone of Madness Press, mutiny! Magazine, and select other journals. Follow him on Twitter @zacheryrahn