"Pajama Boy" by Samari Zysk
in this story, words are wounds, entry points — remember when the footsteps bickered with each other as they echoed off the staircase. the boy in blue pajamas made them rhyme, like a song that he couldn't help but sing along to. where did he go? i heard him but i never heard his voice. i followed him down the hall but he never said a word. he did not wound me. he named me when he raised a finger and put it to his lips. where did you go, pajama boy please hold my hand so i know the way back to myself, so i know i’m real. he never wounded me. i heard rumors that i existed, so i followed my pajama boy across the porcelain between our home and the outside. do you remember what comes next in the story of the porcelain?
it breaks. silence is beautiful, but it breaks.
what happened to my pajama boy? i found him hiding behind my hands, eyes swimming in his head, healing his wounds. he was saying my name, so i moved the finger from his lips and held him as he screamed.
Samari Zysk is a queer Jewish poet who is an MFA student at Mills College. They're also an editor for Maw: Poetry Magazine. You can find their work in Ghost City Review, Brave Voices Magazine, and clandestine lit, among others. You can also visit them at www.samarizysk.org. They live in Olympia, Washington.