Assassins lurk in shadowy halls, waiting to make me a ‘man.’
The codex of Man, crafted by jealous tribes long ago, sought to curb boyhood; their values and expectations passed down and bastardised over time: ‘Be a man,’ ‘Man up,’ ‘Grow a pair,’ ‘Toughen up,’ ‘Don’t be a sissy,’ ‘Kill the boy.’
Why kill the boy when he’s the best I’ll ever be?
The boy is the heart-seat of everything I love and I love to be. He runs, screaming down sidewalks and flapping his wings; he cowers and crows and whispers and sings; his exaggerations, superlatives, his joyous breath; his love of the world and his fear of death; he is a kiss on the cheek and a coy, embarrassed look, he is a child of the universe, a character in a book; when he pretends, he pretends to make his world lighter, not impress, nor impose, or strain to be ‘righter.’
His made-up words are his own, they are what he means; both to himself and himself to his dreams.
© Jack Leonard 2021