He is a boy.

One drink too much. He is falling down besides the banister. The offending thumb-tack, the short straw.

He is a manic high, which is to say: he is a bad idea.

He is youth. He is skinny-dipping in the shallows. He is the first time, the broken umbrella, the dry pen, his mother's nightmare.

He is the just this once.

He is indulgence. Cheating the paper and failing. He is the split lip, the skipping CD, the fly in a chardonnay. The broken-soled rain boots, the flat tyre, the walk home in the darkness and the morning after whose name I forget, whose name should be I know better.

He is the third strike. The broken matchstick, the shop window, the wrong guy and the wrong drink. He is the last condom. He is getting walked in on, getting caught, he is a search light, a bullet terrified of blood.

He is-

The word that doesn't translate. The irregular verb, burned toast, stained tie. He is the stranger in the back of a taxi cab, he is a hurricane down a highstreet. He is a bad idea.

He is everything, infinities, collapsing and expanding; the top shelf, the last line of cocaine, the dirty tourniquet, a stubbed toe, the last shot of vodka. He is never said aloud, unpronounceable, unable to be contained in this many multitudes, he is the parachute you don't need, he is the minute after the last train home has gone.

He is a boy.

He is not beautiful. Not new or rare He will not solve any problems, and the only marks he will leave are scars. They always tell themselves, just this once, I know better, I guess we could


One pill too many. One glance too many. One hand too far up his thigh.

He says, "You haven't lured me into anything."
He says, "I trust you,"
He says, "I want this."

And Medic has never seen a mistake he likes the look of more.