And now where have they been, the boys? 
Something’s missing from their eyes, 
something trusting, something kind 
cast off like skin or old toys. 
The farm that reeks of shit in summer— 
they smell of it, their breath so thick 
we gag. Could they have traveled 
all that way while we were staring, 
returning to us feral, with a blank mistrust 
that borders on intent to kill? 
They’ve become the rivals we forgot we had, 
—their nails clotted with muck or rust— 
untended, cloven, and aroused. 
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