Stranger with the hollow eyes.

All tears are the same,
the pain of a pauper and that of a king cut just as deep.
Whether you’re in mourning or have a stubbed toe.
In that moment,
the pain weighs down on you like the globe does for Atlas.

There is a stranger who sits outside my house,
there when I leave,
there when I come back.
I’ve met his eye.
He is not a hustler on standby,
(or whatever you call ragged men who sit on rocks all day).

He has a warrior’s eyes,
soaked in blood and horror, and tears.
He’s fought wars declared by weaker, more cowardly men,
and now he fights one within himself.
My neighbor says that he’s never there during the day.
She’s never seen him.
There might be very few who see my warrior with the haunted eyes.
Every evening I look at him and he lets me in.
In our split second ritual,
he shows me his monsters and I show him mine.
It’s our little secret.
No names,
no empty small talk.
The stranger stalked by demons is my only confidant.
He knows me,
beyond the darkness, recognition.
Just before I shoot off my bed,
a silent scream trapped in my throat…
There is a shadow of a boy,
he beat up my bullies and walked me home.
A boy who never spoke,
he wanted to be a soldier.

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