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 wanted you to know
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
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
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.