Three days south of the border we passed that dead twisted tree,
followed the creek for a half day under deep skies, came at last to the cave,
our faces streaked with dust and sweat, bright-eyed from the ride
We made a pile of our new riches and swallowed cool mouthfuls of water,
Exchanged glances and grins, laughed at our good fortune
I’ve never told you, but I don’t much care for gold or fine clothes.
There we were, and you said “I’m going to rob a train, by myself”
and I said “By yourself?
I found him perched on the railing of a bridge, contemplating the dark water beneath.
“I’m going to eat you” I said.
“Oh, right” said the teenager, not looking up.
I tried again. “I’m going to consume your soul.”
“In your agonising last moments, your sense of self will be forcefully torn from your memories.”
My shadows drifted about us both. My stomach rumbled. I was not sure what to say.
“You seem unconcerned” I volunteered.
“I hate my life.”
“What?” I said “What? I’m a dark and bitter creature (lifeless and unfeeling), you don’t see me complaining about it.”
“And you have a young and warm body and every reason to believe in a promising future.”
“Bullshit” he said. “I might as well throw myself in.” To emphasise his point he spat in the river. “I wish I had never been born” he added as an afterthought.
“That’s awful!” I said, somewhat horrified. “I can’t eat you like this!”
I reached out and took his hand. Time and space spun around us.