The boys I have loved. Even the worst of them made me hot water bottles in the night, brought improvised snacks into bed.
They sorted out, they picked up, they dropped off.
They indulged flights of drama and dried tears.
They went after lost purses and rolled a thousand cigarettes.
They wrote letters, drew pictures, cooked dinners.
They lay with me on grass, on rocks, on planes.
They built fires, put out fires, fanned flames.
They had cats, mothers, little brothers. Square TVs from the 90s, TVs that went online. Striped socks, odd socks, socks I wore on my hands.
They bought me cider, shoes, a locket, a watch.
They came on foot, on a bike, in their mums’ cars without permission.
They shouted about boys, girls, money, drinking, work, rent, broken windows and writing on the walls.
They were banned for drink driving, damaged by absent fathers, babied by ever-present mothers.
They were heavy drinkers, hard rockers, light fingers pressing need in the dark.
They smoked Royals, Virginia, Drum, Thai stick, on Friday nights.
They went to school, went to college, went to uni, went to shit.
They got jobs, lost jobs, quit jobs, did jobs for a week.
They crashed cars, collected scars, got in fights.
They played scrabble, played guitar, played away.
They took me to the skate park, to Paris, to hospital, to hell and back.
They gave me red roses, bloody noses, confidence, cystitis.
They passed out, walked out, lashed out and found me out.
They were at war, at sea, at one with me.
They were all good boys.