The Moon has an eye. The Moon has an eye and… Anyways, has Jeno always been this beautiful? The Moon has a blinking eye that stares me down. Am I getting too old? Are the doodled notes on my desk still worthy, and are my worn out sneakers young passing enough? And anyways, does the huge, doe eye in the Moon care? And if so, does Jeno care?
God, does Jeno care? Jeno also has doodled on notes. Jeno has an inking pen for drawing flowers and trees and often three eyed dogs, or cats with no ears, or doves with one too many wings. Jeno has butterfly wing shaped lips, Jeno has red plaid shirts that go all the way to the back of his knees, Jeno blinks all of his seven blind eyes when he's doodling over my notes, and anyways, Jeno is an angel. The Eye in the Moon loves him for it.
Mom once said she saw an angel on a Walmart parking lot. The place is unusual and - anyways, she's a bad storyteller, but the angel was tall. She said they had full blown white eyes, something grainy like brain matter, and bony, knife end type of shoulders. The angel wiped a stain of hot cocoa from the corner of their lip, softly pulling on a bunch of sharp skin, just enough to reveal a mouthful of fangs - which meant they were probably telling her to run, but Mom was a kid then. She didn't move, and so didn't the angel. They sat and stared for what seemed like an eternity until my grandma called her back inside.
It's just a family story, one between countless, but she has that look in her eyes when she tells it to us, which makes me somehow believe her. Or at least I have believed it, at some point; it's hard, now, to think that angels don't all look like Jeno. It's hard to think they're not all red plaid and warm quilts and slicked back, salty summer brown hair. It makes me wonder - will I ever tell, too, that I have encountered an angel? Will anyone come banging on my door in a particularly strange night, dressed just in the slightest crooked way, asking me for information on Lee Jeno, runaway angel and number one bird watcher?
And will I say "I do, I know Lee Jeno" or will I say "No, I haven't heard that name in ears"? And will I mean any of those answers?
Does anyone know about Jeno, except for me? Does anyone see how his eyes sparkle and turn and go round and round in wonder? Does anyone notice how easy he befriends the neighbors' cats, how his wounds cure quickly, how his voice is always a little bit melodic? I don't think anyone knows. Everyone in this town is somehow unaware and utterly fooled by Jeno's benevolent nature. I wonder how they manage it.
But the way Jeno truly is an angel is like this, how he is now: Sitting on my spinning office chair, buried under the afternoon sun, trying to get Goku's face right on his inner arm by tracing it with a ball pen. It's crooked and faded out, childishly washing over tan skin. The drawing is so bad I'm convinced by the seven blind eyes theory - one to which side of his face, and one right on the top of his forehead, almost colliding with his hairline. His eye lashes, long and ever so inutile in such situations, quietly banter on his eyelids. If I close my eyes the right way, they seem sharp like tiny iron daggers.
"Mark," he calls, and I give him all of the ears someone like me can possibly give; which are only two, but these are all that I have. "I don't think I did Goku justice."
And he didn't. It's the type of ugly drawing you have to avoid your eyes from, something red and bothersome burning inside of you with the urge to be secondhand embarrassed. I stare at his hands instead, the lines over his tendons spelling a tale as old as time; it's extraordinary how much haunting an angelical body can afford to have.
"You did," I murmur. I don't dwell on it. I don't push the subject further, and neither does Jeno. He continues to draw over his skin, happily like a child munching on sticky candy.
I wonder if angels can read lies right after they're told, but maybe Jeno just likes to be flattered.
Where did you grow up? I ask to myself while watching him, my hands itching to cradle his delicate head to my chest, urging to feel the bone under the skin and everything that comes between. There's a certain fragility to Jeno - I could just eat him whole. I could just stomach him if I wanted to. Is it love if he is so easy to swallow?
Are you being an angel? I want to ask. And if he nods, I want to say Can I watch?, but I'm not that brave myself.
In my head, the words are clear. The stars don't mean anything to me, Jeno. You're an angel and you're the Moon and anyways, did you know that Mary Oliver mostly wanted to be kind? Did you know that you're in every creature and every blinking moon and every dark alley in this city? Did you know?
But I don't tell him, and he doesn't know, and we sit in the afternoon sun like there are no unspoken words between us, like we have an entire lifetime to say the things that are trapped between bone and flesh.
And anyways - it's Spring and it washes off. It's April and it washes off, soft and enchanting like yellow lilies and Shakespearean lines I'm too dumb to understand. It wraps the calendar in linen and ripe fruit, pushing the months in, lacing them together. It is April and the world is far from ending. It is April, and it will be April. That's something I can hope for.
Jeno's birthday is nearing the corner, shyly knocking on time's door like everything in him does. I want to stop the flood of time and sit him somewhere between the restless waves, in a quiet place, unwrapping birthday presents. I have never wanted anything like this before. I don't know where it ends.
"What do you want," I start. He looks up, eyes mischievously pointed at me, and I want the world to end. I do. I'm aware I can't say this without making it sound like Jeno has a knife to my throat. "For your birthday?"
He hums, tapping his fingers over my duvet, dirty with cereal crumbs and cat food. "I don't know." Jeno smiles, looking through me and to the wall like an idea would burst in. "What do you think? I'm kind of thinking of rollerblades."
I make a face. "Those are too expensive. I can't get you those."
But I would pack lunch for you every day. But I would take all of your cups out of the dishwasher in the morning if it means you can have fresh juice in the morning. But I would braid you an infinity of pink heart necklaces.
"Oh," Jeno's eyes widen considerably, in that silly way of his. He squeals out: "I didn't realize you were asking to buy me something." Then his eyes scan my bedroom all over, extending to the walls like egg-yellow, faint fairy lights. "I'd like a flannel, but I'm afraid I'll be appropriating lesbian culture."
"I can get you a flannel," I laugh. I don't know why I laughed - Jeno is, for what it's worth, the loosening of my otherwise tense muscles. "Yeah, I can do that. A green one."
"Good," he smiles his multiple hearts smile, all of them beating together. If I pay attention, it's like I can hear it. "Good. Can I get a coming of age kiss?"
I want to lean in and give it to him right this instant, but I don't do that. I'm afraid that once I start kissing Jeno, I won't ever be able to stop. "No," I tell him. "You're not of age still."
I, for one, want Jeno. I want, want him - in ways I don't think anyone could truly fathom. I want Jeno in the bold meaning of those words, in which I won't settle for the accommodation of my desire. It spreads, drips, rises in flight. I have never known the end of it.
Jeno scrunches his nose, backing away on my chair. "Eh, it was worth the try."
He's good at being the one who reaches out first, despite his seven blind eyes. Makes one wonder if it's easier to love people when you don't see them.
"Stop being dumb." I breathe out.
Jeno smiles with all of his beating hearts, and I want to buy him rollerblades for an entire lifetime.