Duet: A Story in Haibun

“Duet: A Story in Haibun”
From Speaking Out: LGBTQ Youth Stand Up

The bus lurches forward, coughing a burst of black smoke from the rear. The whole carriage rattles as everyone shouts and laughs and calls back and forth. Abbott looks up and sees his band mates’ words cross over them like footballs not meant for them to catch. Lancaster’s hand warm in his hand. The bus puts a shoulder into a speed bump and Abbott’s leg, helpless, leans into Lancaster’s knee for support. Abbott loves him, loves the way his touch is always warm and generous, loves his big Santa Claus laugh, loves how Lancaster says he belongs to Abbott

how a pair of shoes,
reflections of each other,
share the same body.

Lancaster’s dad never asked questions. His mom, though, always wanted to know: Where are your other friends? Lancaster and Abbott up in his room, playing Xbox, playing board games, playing music. She began to test them: barging in without knocking, catching their uncertain over-shoulder looks. But they were up to nothing but being best friends. Lancaster’s dad stopped inviting them to watch football. It was a kind of acceptance,

telling them, I know
we are different, but even
a fox can love hounds.