He wears a sheathed knife on his hip,
dreams of carving things, creating things
like wooden limbs for jointed birch dolls.
The ridges on his thumb make the blade ring.
He’s prepared for whatever and wonders
if he’ll ever have to use it. Hopes not.
He earns his keep, barely. Lives alone,
mostly. Unhooks his brass buckle,
snaps off his soft leather belt, sometimes
whips and whips his goose-feather pillow.
Soft, muffled thumping. Downy angel blood.
He stops to watch the face in the mirror.
The child peeks through the closet slot.
Sees a figure snatch keys and leave.
Wet toothpick mashed between yellow teeth.