11 Bang-Bang

by Elizabeth J. Colen

Box of hair on a beach. Scattered and new, ashes. A fine-feathered boy made of glass. Pin pricks, a hole in the wall. What we thought of that first time came true. Everything all light and darkness. There's nothing that fits outside of good and bad. I came to the war with open arms. I come to you, armless and scarred. What the boy was wearing when he died could fit inside your palm or, if you like, could hang off the two fingers left of your right hand. They wouldn't let us see his face. Scattered and torn, a boy made of glass, shattered. Golden hair pressed into the child's book of verse. Seared locks in a chocolate box, the smell of candy and burn.