I never believed those stories about the boy caught in the fence, at least at first. How he woke up in someone else’s body, how he lost all his stitches, bike wheel still spinning from the ditch. His mouth hot, the moment lacking intimacy. Two fingers pressed to his throat, five pieces of barbed wire snared. How I lost a year, scrawled in the sweat of the tiny pieces of notebook paper on his forehead. The way his grandfather dies and for months after, his grandmother walks around the house with her pockets hanging inside out. The way those boys, who bare their teeth, they ride around the block for hours, eyes muttering, bodies hugging the shadows. Because who will read you now, Eli? Who will put the quarters on your eyelids for the busman? Who even knows, what you were really like? Back then we all had switchblades, we all had badges pinned to our chests. We went to three funerals that year. Three bonfires. Three burning logs. Three mouths hollowed and opened in supplication. A hot moon, and that last sigh, a hiss of smoke.