Hide and Seek

It starts so simple⸺a boy
lost in a field, covered
in twigs, spread thick
to the fingertips. He learns
to play dead. How to still
his earthquaking chest
while others hive around
him in search—their loud
howls drifting towards
the timber in waiting. Most
of the others have all been
found and hung to dry
at the wrist by this point,
but this cannot end
until all of the faggots
have burned⸺childish game
they play. Who can spill the most
blood into the firepit to watch
the flames glow neon, how to
turn a boy into a blooming field
of flames. The art of hunting
with a lit torch and palms
full of gasoline, they continue
to scour. They cannot find
the boy, he stays hidden.

jason b. crawford (They/Them) was born in Washington DC, raised in Lansing, MI. Their debut Full-Length Year of the Unicorn Kidz will be out in 2022 from Sundress Publications.