the willowy girl and the secret keeper"I think there were skeletons? Yeah, they were dancing around a fire. And there were weird demon things with horns. And it smelled like smoke and trees and spices."
"You can smell things in your dreams?"
"Of course." She tilted her head, frowning at him. "You can't?"
"I don't think anyone can. I don't think that's even possible."
"It is. It definitely is."
"You might be crazy."
She exhaled sharply, her face twisting into a terrible imitation of anger. "I think you're just jealous."
"Is that so?"
"Mmhm," she nodded, confident in her assessment. "Because I get these intricate, beautiful dreams, and yours are just boring. Boring, boring, boring."
He stared at her, a secret smile playing on his lips. He wanted to tell her that she was the most beautiful person he'd ever seen; that she made his blood feel electric; that if his dreams were as intricate as hers, he'd smell her lilac perfume, stare into her stormy eyes, take her on dreamland adventures. He wanted to tell her that her lips were
the boy with twelve bracletsthe cobwebs of your past cling
to the inside of your ribcage
and gently strangle your heart.
when i saw you for the first time
i had already known you for weeks,
taken part in your gorgeous
conversations and watched you spread
laughter like a perfect virus
among all the people you met.
you wore twelve bracelets,
six on each wrist;
once upon a time they served
to cover a mistake you made
when you were thirteen,
but it wasn’t a mistake now
so much as a story
about a boy who was brave enough to keep breathing,
and you kept the bracelets just because their memory annoyed you
when you took them off.
that was what you said, anyway.
then i learned how sure you were
that you were only pretending
to be brave.
you wore a mirror as a face,
silver and starlike,
molded to your features and well-rehearsed
in reflecting just what you
knew people wanted to see
and one night,
terrified of seeing nothing but myself
[and greedy to see your face]
i smashed the mirror.
i expected you to scramb