You came to a boy who didn’t love
his legs as a pair of pants hung
on a rack at a TJ Maxx. You didn’t
have a zipper but five golden buttons.
Every year for ten years you grew a bit
thinner. The boy a bit, in fairness to you,
because you did your work well, fatter.
Forgive him, he was happy, he did not
know what it would do to you, the way
it would eat away at you, slowly. The knees
washed out and ripped first. His thighs
greedy and hogging the denim. To be fair
to the boy, for a few years you were all he
wore when he went out at night to skate
until the park lights clicked off or if the moon
was full and he could still see, until
the concrete was once again cool to the touch.
And before going home you waited patiently
stuck to a spike on a fence as he jumped from
the high dive only to wrestle you back on wet.
Blame the invention of the cell phone for
the slit your pocket sticks out like a tongue.
Blame the pens, the boy carried for school
work and learning to write. Blame the keys
he crammed for your guts spilling. But it was
the boy who took the scissors to you. Above
the knee. Can you see your sacrifice as a gift
to the boy, who was now, in fact, a man
no longer ashamed of his legs, fond of the scars
and even the lattice work of the pale blue veins.
This is why when the crotch began to go, the man
could not give you up just yet. So the hole grew.
And the man took to wearing solid black
boxer briefs to hide the inevitable to keep
up the appearance of integrity. The other
day you ripped up the line of those gold
buttons and there was no longer a chance
for the boy, no the man, to wear you to the
store, or the skatepark, or when company’s
over. You’re nothing but softness and seams.
What will become of you now? Can you
face the scissors again? Are you willing,
friend, to be cut once more? To rags this
time–of use until this man grows old?