West Texas, 2007
it snows for the first time in a decade
& the whole schoolyard is flooded with dancing children.
two boys stumble from the property’s tree line
into new bodies: the one in the bright red coat names
himself the outlaw, & the boy with the leftward limp
knows this means he is consigned to some type of lawman.
the boys prepare for war; now rivaled
as the seasons, or the night & day,
or the cowboy & anything not sky.
this game has no damsel in distress, & no winner.
it always ends the same way, with both boys
lying dead in the snow riddled with bullets
from guns snapped from the chestnut tree’s lower limbs.
the wind has reddened their faces & still found their mouths
laughing like that; playing dead in a field & drunk
on their own ungrieving.
when the sun begins
to paint the world a shade darker
than it had been all day long,
the boys’ shadows grow into themselves
in the span of an afternoon.
in eight years it will snow again & both boys will be taken in the bed
of a pickup truck & buried by the side of the road.