took his hand and smiled,
played Loyal in games and they were
brothers, stuffed place in a world
that was only between his heart
and his.


but there was filth,
Loyal went first and he'd crawl
to Innocence and bleed and they'd just
melt melt melt under sheets made of
the whimsy Loyal would laugh
because no real material was spared
as they grew numb to pain,
and maybe it was over,
but it never was.


Innocence to taint;
he had his name and daddy
loved him more because loyalty
was cheap and Loyal was easy.

Innocence sought purity.


they were the same, same, same
and no one but one and two
could tell who was the other
and it was beautiful
and there were nights that Loyal
and Innocence were there and alone
and pressed tight with no space
between their identical bodies
and it wasn't sex because-

sex didn't feel good.


one and they were safe.

two and they were safe

three and they were safe

four and they were safe.

five and six-

Loyal cried and cried and cried,
And they barely understood.


"only for daddy."

but Innocence was Loyal and Loyal was Innocence and twins touch in the womb and they were meant, meant, meant,

for something so much better.


Innocence bit and scratched and
hands were dirty
and there was no kindness
that Loyal would pretend and feel
and disinfect and candy was only
sugar and dye
and really there was no fun

no fun because Innocence knew they were ruined.


Innocence would listen on most nights,
but Loyal, Loyal would feel,
but he didn't scream and he didn't fight,
but Innocence knew and he grew to feel


"i'll drown you," meant nothing:

Innocence couldn't take it,
because Loyal was sick and tired and dumb
and he knew this wasn't okay, and he would hold the mirror close
and when his reflection was more scarred and more thin
and less bitter something was so wrong.


the quiet listen
and the quiet know
even when everyone
else doesn't.



hole in the wall and daddy needed another hole in the head, but Loyal cried, and Innocence knew there had be something when he took them both away.