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. 

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