The lost boy

I saw a boy I knew, in the skin of a man.
He sat cross-legged on the grass, a tie at his throat,
being serious. He did not notice me
but I knew well the lunchbox at his knee,
the strangely open plastic faces
of the trains, peeling now, probably.
The smell of his sweaters.
The dirt beneath what nail his teeth
had left untorn, how his faces fell
like leaves from gummy Latin readers
at the sound of each lunch bell. I knew
the scab he had from playing in glass
when everyone knew grass
was the softer landing.

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