Afternoon, and the sirens wail, a blue-red carnival, gore, bone.
Blood rush, fast feet, don't stop. "How old?"
"Eighteen," you hear yourself say.

Evening finds you alone together, hands clasped, a pair.
Him on the white tundra of the bed, you beside in a chair.
Earlier, the rush swallowed your heartbeat in a stream of noise.
But now the silence pricks your ears. The ward is still, now, quiet as the crypt.
And he bleeds.

In the morning, there will be a pilgrimage.
A lost and broken family of teenagers brought together once more, after all.
The first one out of duty.
The second for the goodbye – please, not again. Not another one.
Three and Four will be awkward, pained, forced together by circumstance.
Five and Six will hurry, curse the train, afraid of being too late.

But for now, you and him are alone together.
You stare at him,
the lips you've kissed,
the heart you hold,
and wonder how this ever managed to happen.
To you. To him. To us.