by LastScorpion

The e e cummings Challenge is at http://www.livejournal.com/users/isagel/16594.html. It belongs to isagel and lyra_sena.

My revised ficlet is below, under the poem I'm cannibalizing. Many thanks to lexalot for the lovely quick beta!

Portraits [1923], 8
By e e cummings

Buffalo Bill's

     who used to
     ride a watersmooth-silver
and break onetwothreefourfive pigeons -
he was a handsome man
          and what i want to know is

how do you like your blueeyed boy
Mister Death

It's years now, but I still remember the first time I ever saw him. I looked up suddenly at the desperate screech of a car in its extremity. I saw his face, and knew we would both die. He looked so startled. I always wondered, afterwards, if anything less, or anything equal to it, could ever put his heart on his face like that again. That's wrong, though - Lex had emotions, even gentler emotions, and he showed them on his face, sometimes even when he didn't want to. It's funny, though. The first time I ever saw him, crashing into me in that watersmooth-silver stallion of a Porsche, was the only time I knew we both would die. And we didn't.

He was my friend - I'd swear he was my friend. I was his too, as much as I could be. My father always said that Luthors weren't like us. He forgot that I wasn't like "us" either. An extraterrestrial's more foreign than a city boy, even a Luthor. The part of Lex that was alien to me, the part I tried to discount, to make excuses for, was the ruthless destroyer of men. It wasn't always self-defense for him - it usually wasn't self-defense. Sometimes he'd ruin them just for pleasure, because he knew he could. Business rivals or enemies or fools. He'd break onetwothreefourfive pigeons - just like that. No hesitation. No remorse. I don't think he ever would forbear, except for me or mine. In spite of everything, of every single thing, I know he was my friend.

I wish we could have been more.

I wish I'd been brave enough, held onto him tight enough, to keep him back from that abyss. Strong enough to pry him out of that shiny deathtrap under the bridge, quick enough before I ever knew anything at all, to breathe the life back into him on the river's bank, but I was weak and slow-witted when faced with his own otherness. If I'd been paying enough attention, if I'd acknowledged in time what it was that pulled him away, if I'd given him reason enough to choose something other than the darkness that was his birthright, if I'd....

Well, I didn't. I made my choices, not even knowing what I did. He made his choices, not ever knowing about me, what I was or what I wished for. He chose the life he lived.

Jesus, he was a handsome man.

Now he's gone.

And what I want to know is: How do you like your blue-eyed boy, Mr. Death?

Be better for him than I was.

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