you don't miss the person, you miss their presence &about five million other topics that came before. ---- like honey, the alcohol works its way to her belly. with trembling hands, she collects the phone &curls on the couch. her fingers pulse along the same seven familiar numbers, &her breath bates for the chance of hearing his warm voice. there is nothing but the empty ring tone. still, words slip from her tongue and catch along the key with the pound sign.
i just-- i wanted you to know i remember the time we walked for ice cream and i pushed you in the wheelchair. remember, you pretended your legs were broken just to see the funny looks from older ladies when you rose from the chair like it was nothing strange. i remember your crazy stories and the way you always lied. you wanted to burn away your fingertips to find a new identity, and i always worried so much for you when you said winter was a season for sadness. i thought maybe then our tangled webs would enclose us like a tiny cocoon but destiny walked, instead, to the vending machine for a diet coke.
you always said you had better things to do than spend time with me while we ate pancakes at the dollar buffet. we sat on your couch eating cupcakes i had baked--my attempt to wiggle into the cold of your crumbling apricot heart, and you asked, with a sly grin, what time it was that i was leaving.
but i'll never forget the warmth from your sleeve pressed into my arm or the glow of your smile and bright chocolate eyes at the one thing i ever said that was funny. you were always the orange-pink of a sunset, the aching beat of my heart when you were too afraid to hold me. every time i left you, i always wept but i was glad for the tears, glad to feel anything for you. my heart aches for you-- for being fourteen and struck with love-- but with you, i was always blue.
&i just wanted to tell you that maybe i won't always dream the scent of your house--that maybe you won't always be the first--that maybe i will forget the ice cream flavor (moose tracks), the days i visited you (always wednesday and sunday), &the person that you were-- but i will never forget the way you made me feel every second that i knew you.