“you swallowed the light.
you swallowed it,
and all the children in all the villages
came down from the mountains
singing about the north star
and how they saw it in your belly.
this is what you do.
you take a broken thing and you
make it more broken.
you eat the stars and lick your fingers.
you lead a small army of lost boys into oblivion
because you are too lonely to tell them
that you haven’t figured out where you’re going.
blame the bad days.
blame the ghosts
and all the monsters your father warned you about.
you want to be the hero, and you’re
trying, but this is bigger than you
and you can’t put your fist through it.
not this time.
you swallow the light because
you think you can keep it safe.
the lost boys are still lost boys
but now and they ask questions that you can’t answer.
you swallow the light and try not to choke around the burning.
pretend it’s whiskey.
pretend it goes down smooth.
you’re trying to be the hero but you’ve forgotten how to be gentle.
you’re trying to be the hero but maybe
you’re just the man with a fist for a mouth.
maybe you’re the lost boy.
maybe you’re the one that needs
to be saved.”
- caitlyn siehl, the hero