We drove and Shane had nothing for a shirt,
dancing in snakey ways with hills,
trees, reservoirs, and spots to pee
passing. He yelled, it’s hot. We stopped
for gas and spent some extra time discussing
gatorades, spit, and red vs. grape vs.
arctic frost. Let’s look for paint, he said,
let’s squiggle heinous tags all down the barn.
Holding up my cell phone’s screen that night,
I watched him squint and paint with odd
intensity. I listened to him complain
about his brother’s soaking basement
and the knives he hid down there
with dusty synthesizers and plans
scratched into sketchbooks. That night
was voodooish. Furnace smells rose
while Shane worked, turning our spot
beside the barn into a little hell
where we were no longer friends or people
at all, just boys with sets of hands
painting a barn that wasn’t ours.
About the author:
Cody Ernst is pursuing an MFA in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University. He is originally from South Salem, New York.