“Golden Boy With Golden Gun And Golden Ghost” by Adrian Bouvier


poem found here

from this book by Adrian Bouvier

cw: death, guns, blood, grief, implied explosions, drinking
If I need to tag something else, let me know.

“Golden Boy With Golden Gun And Golden Ghost” by Adrian Bouvier


They call you golden boy, but you know the truth, right? You know gold doesn’t tarnish. You know gold is sincere. You know gold doesn’t have quick fingers and lying eyes. Here’s your truth: gold-covered, silver-covered, copper-covered tin.

You’re somewhere between comedy and tragedy, a long mourning period punctuated by slapstick. Misfortune in the extreme interrupted by success. What a fucking human calamity. A natural disaster in skin. You’ve got a mask but your shoulders always tell. You’ve got a golden necklace but it’s gonna stain your skin. Disappointment is your specialty.

What a fake.


Isn’t this the way it goes in movies? It’s a romantic tragedy. It’s a romantic comedy. You’re here to save him but you both die instead. What a mess. What a disaster. The audience will love it.

Your lungs high in your throat and dizzy head. Waiting was never your strong suit. Patience was always your downfall.

You run.


See, you were the second. There was the boss and the lady and the golden boy and you were the golden boy, you were special and he was special and you loved him like a father, like a friend, like a lover. You were the second and you loved him first. You were the second and you killed for him with nothing on your mind. You killed for him like breathing. You’ve lost your first love and now you’re losing all of them.

You wake up late in the morning weeks later with a start like it’s the middle of the night, realizing: you expected him to die laughing, and you expected to be dead first.

Well, you’re dead now.

You’re dead and the city is going to burn.


The halls are dark because you cut the power. There’s sunlight filtering through, but no sound. Just your footsteps, tapping, trying.


You didn’t bury him. You burned him. Ashes to ashes, gold dust to dust. It felt like betrayal. It felt like sin. It felt like letting go.

You were the one who covered for them while your boy rocked a body to sleep in his arms. Your hands went numb and you fired until your gun clicked empty, empty, empty like your head and your heart and your stomach.

You were the one who lit the fire and you stood and watched until it died.


He’s drinking whiskey when you find him and you understand at all once. His eyes are frantic but your heart is slow and your hand is steady on his jaw, your lips are steady on his lips, your eyes are calmer than they’ve ever been. He set the charges a little early and his plan a little late. Patience was always your downfall.

You think this might have been how you were always meant to go out anyway.

With a bang.

With your boy.


You used to have nightmares about deep water. Not drowning, but getting lost. You didn’t know which way was up and you swam forever in the dark and the loneliness and the crushing silence. The nightmares stopped when you met him and they didn’t come back when he died. You don’t think about it. You don’t think about much of anything at all. You don’t feel much of anything at all.

What a fake.

What a tin boy.

You ring shrill and false every time.


You’re not made out of gold but gold is soft. You’re something sharp and sturdy, something with facets to work with. Gold, silver, copper, tin.

After all, what kind of criminal is made of gold?

What kind of metal doesn’t taste like blood?


One thought on ““Golden Boy With Golden Gun And Golden Ghost” by Adrian Bouvier

  1. Pingback: Copper Heart, Silver Liver, Golden Tongue | ghostofgatsby

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