by Aspen R., 15

i keep you locked here,
handcuffed by the crook of my elbow
as our chests rise and fall in sync
matching up like anxious paint strokes.
each soft,
both scared,
mixing and blurring
until the breath is just that.
i love you,
but you can’t feel it; not truly.
we have a handshake,
of course,
(what friends don’t?)
but it is anything but conventional.
i’ll keep you here
until we both can learn to
stay calm
in the face of the unknown.
Wall, New Jersey