Andy’s Apartment

Andy’s been teaching me chess,
or trying. When we leave
the board out, his mom throws
it on his bed. It doesn’t help
that I’d rather play checkers.

Mrs. Muñoz is asleep
right now. She’s half-blind,
and has a really hard time
with sunlight, but
I want my pile of Heinlein books back
so we came over today.

Andy tells me to wait
in the kitchen. When he comes back
he says I can have them back
this weekend.

He opens some saltines
and we talk super-quiet
about Spiderman.
It’s not my favorite
but Andy loves him; George Stacy
just died, and it’s all he wants
to talk about. Suddenly
he crams the box shut and looks
at the fire escape.

When he climbs out,
the window smells like incense.
He’s got the black queen
in his fist.
We race by the high school.
Andy’s probably going to win
biking competitions someday,
so it takes me almost two hours
to beat him. I spin
onto Shaw Road and spy
back in my handlebar mirror.

He spins next to me
and stares. Don’t be
stupid, he says.
Don’t show your face
in the mirror.
Do it like this. With style.

He takes off
behind the main building
and after five minutes
I think I’m alone.

Then, before I know it
he’s behind me.

Don’t pick your nose
when you think
no one’s watching.

He looks satisfied.
I’m ready to go home when
I notice a dark spot
under his hair.
It’s dry now.

I look at the ground.

I hope he didn’t see.

Added: March 2, 2013 | Last changed: June 7, 2014