Friend Request Sent

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Friend
You are a contact.
You are a picture on my screen.
You are a man whom I once knew as a boy.
And rather than speak with you again,
I click a button.

Friend.

You are a memory passed.
You are a series of well placed comments
and hyperlinks.

We once were hyper together.
We were once linked.
We used to run though the woods together,
hand in hand waiting for the beast of the forest to announce himself,

and we talked about how we would be fearless, our chests held high.
Wielding wooden branches for protection.
And we would slay that neighborhood monster.

We were invincible, you and I.
But now we are just visible.
As I watch you kiss your lady,
play with your dog,
And ask me for candy crush tokens.

We used to feed off each other.
Now you are just another one finger scroll on my news feed.

Friend.

You were my (knock, knock).
Is he home yet?!
You were My clap, fist bump, fingers like this, handshake spin around double tap.
Now we are just a series of these (thumbs up).

I think about that picture of us.
Outside on our mountain bikes,
with smiles that would make Colgate proud.
It was the day you fell off your huffy.
You skinned your knees real bad.
And we walked 4 bloody miles home,
your arms around my shoulders.

You told me I was a good friend that day.
You were my first one.

Now you are a profile picture that hasn’t been updated in 6 years.
You are a 14 character “happy birthday” one day a year.

Friend.

I thought about getting on my bike yesterday,
And riding to your house.
And pulling a (knock, knock).
Is he home?!

But my digital mind lacks the motivation.
And the more we avoid a conversation,
The more comfortable I become,
lost in a sea of notifications.

-Reese Weatherspoon

Exit by Window

exit
Exit by window, dear darling, small starling,
Exit by window and be not afraid.
Exit the driveway, go my way, dear darling,
Exit the street and they’ll all know your name.
Exit the city, you wanderer, ponderer,
Exit the city, you are not alone.
Exit by forest, you scared little wanderer,
Exit by forest and see what you’ve made.
Exit the wilderness, sweet fighter, dark writer,
Exit the wilderness and bear who you are.
Exit by bloodline, by floodline, by sky,
Exit this world and know that you die.
Exit by bloodline, this death shrine,
Exit it all and let yourself go.
Enter by daylight, by moonlight, by scars,
Enter by shotguns and broken bone cars.
Enter by exit and understand this:
If you live just to die you’ll forget what you miss.

Latrans Lupus

Cemetery Drive (Reflections From a Stranger’s Tombstone)

cemetaryDid they buy you flowers?

The ones growing from the damp black earth below me are beautiful. They’re violet, the type of color if I stared at just long enough I could lose myself in. I always loved violet. It reminds me of strange dreams and bad dancing and things that don’t matter to you now. Things that did matter.

Now,  as I’m running my dirt stained fingers across the faded inscription, I feel more alone than I ever have. Once, I thought I felt the crumbling rock pulse under my touch, but the only thing beating in this dead city was my heart, I tied to this body and you to the decaying stone at your bedside.

I wish I could have asked you many things. I wish I could have asked how it felt, leaving this beautiful, cursed place.
Free of these vacant people in their crowded homes and the open palms you never reached.Or, how it felt leaving people that made you feel like art and smokestack memories of impossible nights that made you feel infinite. Did you mourn them as they mourned you? Maybe you left with less regard and more finality, some dramatic exit. The performance you never auditioned for.

Or, it was nothing.

Just holding on with white knuckles for so long, and finally letting go.
sleep.

Someone once told me we are made of stars. Fragments of dust and far away galaxies behind the freckles and our dreams and everything that makes us human.
I like to think your soul is home, with the constellations watching these flowers grow from what you gave to this earth.

Hiraeth

Greater than Twelve

snap
I stared at his shadow on the wall. It was shaky and pale and split against the orange church paint.
He said
“You’re good. No standards you have to meet or anything to change. You’re good. Remember that.”
I didn’t meet his eyes that mirrored our father’s.
I couldn’t.
I only stared at his shadow behind his back.
His shoes are dumb old man shoes
And his flannels smelled like he always has
I have one of his floral print hats
And his copy of Catcher In The Rye.
I’m only on chapter four.
I remember ten years ago, on that creaky bunk bed, you showed me a song that stared with,
“I met a girl named Tara,
And she lived in the heart of America”
That was the first song I ever leaned the words to,
The first song I ever fell asleep to.
I wanted your matchbox cars and pens and scraps of legal pad paper at six years old.
And just the other day, at sixteen, I wanted the love in your heart and your old shirt and your thinning lyric notebook you kept in the tenth grade.
You, of all twelve of us, are most like my guardian.
Your concern and compassion for your newest littlest brother has shone through
tunnels of black in your eyes, and you still refuse to wipe your lenses on your shirt.
My throat has been closing up, and I’ve been waiting for the tears to begin
Hit with waves of nostalgia and gratitude,
But I guess I’m saving them for your wedding day.
I’m sure she doesn’t hate the stars now,
She sees them in your eyes. She has to;
They’ve been there for as long as I’ve seen them.
nine to eleven