You didn’t believe them then, not now, not ever.
Hands on your hips, head tilted defiantly backward.
Just a kiss.
Out there under the canopy of trees that was our fortress.
Now the rain is hitting the pavement and like the little worms on the sidewalk post flood,
the memories come out of hiding.
“Watch” you said,
flipping over the rail and offering me your hand.
As if my eyes ever left yours.
As if we weren’t indestructible.
As if all these years later we both wouldn’t be sabotaging relationships because we never really forgot that night on my cracked front porch when you whispered a word that wasn’t goodbye.
Summers come around.
Wander streets, our knobby knees and tans.
You were the first person to ever point out the faint freckles on my nose.
Before we met I was a virgin storyteller.
You gave me a story to tell though, in basements and guitar solos.
Hunched over leather bound notebooks I spent my meager allowance on,
shoulders and forearm protective.
“What are you writing about, me?” you asked with a smile.
I ruffled your hair and laughed indignantly, pretending the
butterflies weren’t devouring me.
“You’re so vain”
I admonished, though your name was on the page, hidden beneath my hand like a secret.
My Father liked your rock and roll ways, and my Mother prayed for your soul under her breath when you drove past music blaring, hand out in a wave.
You were spray paint and fireworks. You were swing sets and garage bands.
You were vertigo, thunderstorm, pinball and hero.
You were apologies, secret handshakes, mind reader and tears.
Now you’re gone.
Gone like my childhood.
Like my fifth cup of coffee.
Gone like that goddamn homework assignment I can’t find.
You’re gone like winter, like the lake house, like smoke in my clothes. You’re gone like every piece I ever wrote and then ripped into shreds. Like every band I was into when I was fourteen, every radio song that I loved and failed to catch the name of, every birthday party.
The place where you show your fingerprints is whenever I try to write about some other boy, some other adventure, some other short story with novel potential.