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Pennsylvania ave SE

By Taylor Johnson

Bless the boys riding their bikes straight up, at midnight, touching,
if only briefly, holding, hands as they cross the light to Independence.
Bless them for from the side the one on the red bike looks like me
his redbrown hair loose against the late summer static heat.
The boy who is not me   (see how I did that)   fixes his mouth to say
something I will never hear    I love you    or    I’m so sad    though
more than likely    catch up.    Bless the boy who is me on his bike
because he was a witness to my witnessing and did not turn away
did not make of me a disappeared burned thing— instead nodded as boys do.
Bless the distance and the knowing there. What my mind makes of these boys,
bless that long hallway I’m always going through.
Bless what could be mine or me.
Bless the boys I wanted to be     or wanted.

Added: Thursday, November 10, 2016  /  Used with permission.
Taylor Johnson

Taylor Johnson is a poet from Washington, DC. They've received fellowships and scholarships from the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, Cave Canem, Lambda Literary foundation, VONA, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Fine Arts Work Center. Their work appears in the minnesota review, and Callaloo. They are currently working on their first collection of poems.

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