Poetics

It was the first warm day of spring and Skittery was taking full advantage of the sunny weather. He dug his trowel into the rain-softened earth, creating a shallow bed for the bulbs he had been hoarding since last fall when they had nearly been disposed of. The sunshine beat down on his bare back and wiping at his sweaty forehead with the back of his hand left a streak of dirt.

As the last bulb was tucked away, Skittery stood and stretched. Slapping the dirt off of his hands, he gathered up his gardening tools and brought them inside the house he rented with five others.

Snitch was seated at the kitchen table, chewing anxiously on the end of his pen.

Skittery eyed him as he put the tools under the sink and turned on the faucet. "All right there, Snitch?"

The other boy groaned, putting his face into his hands. "My professor wants us to write a love poem for the next class."

"Yeah?"

"I suck at it!"

Skittery raised an eyebrow as he dried his hands on a dishtowel. "Snitch, you're a very talented writer...how could your poetry possibly suck?"

"Oh how I would spend millions of years/Just to fight off your tears/Open your ears!" Snitch read from the page.

Skittery made a choked noise into his water glass.

"You're laughing at me."

"No," Skittery giggled. "No, I'm not."

"You are!"

Skittery swallowed his laughter and crossed to the table. Wrapping arms around Snitch from behind, he left a kiss on the underside of his chin. "I am not laughing at your poetry. I'm laughing because I love you."

Snitch sulked. "Let go of me. You're sweaty."

Skittery shrugged and obliged. "I'm going to hop in the shower before Dutchy gets back from class." He idled in the doorway. "If you want my advice-"

"I don't."

"-Don't try to rhyme. Great poetry comes from the heart. From truth..." Skittery grinned. "Like a blanket that leaves your feet cold."

He dodged the notebook thrown at him and ran up the stairs.

*

Snitch sulked as he watched "Dead Poet's Society," scribbled-in notebook in his lap. Poetry was a matter of inherent talent-some people had it and other people didn't. He still wasn't sure what had possessed him to take a poetry workshop class when he knew full well that symbolism was not his strong suit. Sighing, he settled deeper into the dilapidated couch, watching as a random student read his poem:

A cat

Sat on a mat.

He snorted. At least I'm better than that.

Poetry was from the heart; Snitch knew that without Skittery telling him. It was one of the messages in the movie and always had been brought up in countless literature classes in high school.

He knew it...so why couldn't he write it?

Later, as the movie approached the end, Skittery came downstairs in a clean pair of jeans and a white t-shirt. He chuckled at Snitch's movie of choice, winking as he tossed aside the notebook in Snitch's lap. As Skittery's soft, damp hair brushed his neck and cheek and Snitch breathed in the clean smell of his shampoo, he smiled against Skittery's mouth and thought: perhaps this is poetry.

There are certain things too beautiful for paper.

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