you were the boy who cared for the birds in the boiler room. your shoulder blades were folded fabric wings. the giraffe markings on your cheeks mixed with your coffee-coloured skin. you were an indian boy with river sutras and elephant gods. your story was not told through words, but with accordion heart beats, sputtering out emotions like wild fire.
i opened my rib cage, releasing a paper crane breath into the air. you touched the exhalation with willow fingers and kissed it, almost kissing me. i ran with halted bruises on my knees, afraid this moment would become a forgotten memory. but i can feel the kiss in my breath because you were not just the boiler boy, but a dreamer who taught me how to dream and breathe inoutin with starling lungs instead of paper cuts.