With heart and body running together
(heaven bless the physics of this world),
he knows that someday both will run down,
the clockwork slowing to a final stop.
He's imagined the farther realms so oft
it's become a comfy alternative for his
aching mind and trembling body.
He doesn't know how long it will take.

He remembers sitting, aged nine, in school,
grinning stupidly as they all joined in laughter
against him, teasing his looks and talent.
He didn't know what to do or how to escape
and waited patiently until his home arrived
and then let all that remained of the pain
enter his empty well of deception.

There were times, too, when it felt normal,
when it felt right to be alive.
He recalls his fingers, the only trait he ever
liked, and wonders what would happen
if someone were to take them away from him,
if someone even cared enough to do so.

She came as a surprise, then, this girl from afar.
She came with a book, with a smile, with a heart.
She came withdrawn and alone and sad.
He saw in her himself and reached out to her.
She saw in him sadness and let him reach out.

But he'd waited for so long, that when it came,
everything broke open, like he'd hoped.
He let it crash around his head as he flew among the stars.
Heaven bless the physics of this world.

She'd waited and wondered, patient in her own way.
When he came back to earth, he told her.
He was amazed that she, as his friend, understood.

He'd waited for so long for the clockwork to break.
Now he waited for the world to rearrange.

She understood.

Dedicated to and inspired by a friend