Burden

At five,
we made ourselves into kings;
the way boys do with their grown-up thoughts.

We’d pull a blank page,
scrawl lines across it like an atlas,
“that’s my kingdom”, “no, that’s my empire”.
And by sunset I’d own half a continent.

The next time,
we set fire to the cities we had covered,
to hide the fact they tempted us,
to hide how we always tried, but we could never be.

We made tents out of our shirts,
the wind blowing against them like a sail,
pushing us one hand by one hand,
until we’d wake up.

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