not one day goes by that I don’t know I’m dying

I leave accidental trails of scarlet across the backs of my boys, red lines thinning pale into permanent fingerprint slashes of I was here, explicit, accidental, time travelling primal distraction, as old and new as the universe, stinging salty in the shower, an archaic, elemental writing sliced into flesh, coloured in with the body’s most basic ink, traced by my fingers and the sullen edges of uncertain t-shirts, to bleed later, or ache again when leaned upon, a raw, gentle reminder of my skin and theirs pressing together.

He likes them, he says, wry, “these are the scars that separate men from boys”. He likes them, he says, purring, “this way I am never without you.”