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Elegy for the Might-Have-Been Boy

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He might have been beautiful once.
He might have had German chocolate hair that fell
about his face in countless tiny curls,
and such high cheekbones that spoke of
ancestors who sat on gilded thrones in great halls of stone.
He might have had eyes that couldn't seem to decide
whether they wanted to be blue or grey or green,
so they settled on something in between,
a color you would be hard-pressed
to find anywhere else in the world, and
his skin might have been as pale and
smooth as the sheets that children drape
over themselves to make believe they are ghosts.

He might have been, but that was before they found him.
Before they saw his beauty and were jealous and decided to punish him for it.
They tore at him,
tore him apart until his outside was inside and his inside was gone.
They destroyed him, bit by shining bit, until he grew
so small they couldn't see him anymore.

Now his hair hangs in lank tendrils, and
his cheeks are high and hollow.
His eyes are vacant, dead,
and his skin is mottled with bruises.
He shifts from shadow to shadow,
never letting his face be seen.

But he might have been beautiful once.

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