my brother & i wear burger king crowns printed jewels on cardboard. the two of us try to discover what we might be kings of. i scale a rock. a church crumples into a paper crane. schoolyard oak tree bends down to kiss my forehead. birds land on my brothers shoulders & carry him to the roof. snakes glide underneath my shoes to lift me there with him. our kingdom ranges from the driveway all the way down to main street where broken glass is known to assemble back into bottles. i adjust his crown. he adjusts mine. a dragon meanders down the road with a cigarette in his mouth. we divide the corn fields between each other. i say i want to the one with the huge collapsing red barn. he wanted the one with the silo. we point to what we want. i want the old school house. he wants the water town & the house on main street with the turret. the mailbox whispers so we go recieve our messages. it tells us our people are displeased. they want a king with a metal crown. something unchangable. we run away to beneath the pine tree where all our pets our buried. amoung the ghosts of goldfish & chickens & frogs we hold each other. we wanted too much too. in the distance, an arby's sign glows & an burger king dazzles radiant. everything we notice is cardboard. mom's statin wagon & the grass & even the tree we're sitting under. we crawl through the center spiral of a curly fry. it's a vortex down into the basement: cool & damp. there, we lay our crowns down amoung broken beer boxes. we vow to keep this life secret-- to lay on separate bunks & dream ourselves back into children. the dragon pauses at the corner a block away. a fire engine rushes past & send red flickering through both of our mouths. in bed that night we cannot sleep. in every direction the walls tell us we are hiding. i tell my brother to close his eyes. he drifts off to sleep. i stay awake for us. for a moment i sweat the jem in the crown burn heavy & real.