the Mitchell’s new adopted boy
was my age
and named after a rock.
Yet when summer of ’83
swept past without
so much as a flash of him outdoors,
my superstitions soon filed him under
Romanian lore / bloodsucker /
of the undead club /
No killer stakes
were carved that summer,
save the edible ones dad cracked peppercorn over
and served to us medium well,
seared in chain-link patterns.
My friend Paul swore he saw the kid
shape-shift into a bat one evening—watched it
flutter, swoop and cut sharply through the air
in the darkening plum-light.
The time I first spotted the kid for real,
the day had worn a hoodie
of low-hanging clouds.
I remember a drizzle
and the kid sporting Ray-Bans
with lenses as black as a welder’s mask.
An A-list celebrity in a public cameo,
he moved like an eel
as he got the mail and was back inside
slipperier than a movie star
Mom said Day Blindness
made daylight his enemy,
that his play outdoors could only begin
when the tangy sun sank
like a blood orange cut in half.
Afterward I was green-eyed
watching him shadow through his yard
under night’s gem-studded cap.
Every evening, as if bitten,
I was drawn to my bedroom window
with the eyes of a jealous jeweler.
Not to spy superstitiously on the neighbor,
but to marvel at the boy
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