when we were young

when we were 8

we played outside

 

the swings swung

back and forth

and back and forth

 

dirt covered wood chips swept

one way and then the other

because your legs were long

and your shoes could touch the ground

 

my legs were shorter and

you had to help me get onto

the swing because when i tried

i couldn’t do it on my own

 

your knees were bruised and you had concrete

burns on the sides of your arms because you

liked to run around and kick the soccer ball at

the dead end street around the corner

 

i played with you once and 

i fell on my arm

i started to cry because i saw red

and my skin burned

 

i expected you to laugh and call me a baby but

you helped me up and asked if i was okay

your mom gave me a band-aid

 

when we were 14

we went to high school

 

we had no classes together and

we didn’t hang out during lunch either

but i saw you in the halls sometimes

 

our friendship was nearly gone

but we still walked home together in silence

because our moms wanted us to 

but i don’t think you did

 

i got pushed into the locker so hard one day

that my nose started to bleed and

i think it was because the person that pushed me

might’ve elbowed me too

 

i think it was accidental but

they didn’t say sorry and 

you saw me but walked away

like everyone else

 

i walked home alone that day

because i waited and waited but

you weren’t there after school 

and i didn’t know why

 

you weren’t absent that day because 

my mom took us to school that morning

and i saw you twice but

you didn’t say hi

 

i knocked on your front door

and you opened it

maybe a bit surprised

i figured you had gotten a ride

 

most likely from your mom but

her car wasn’t in the driveway and

a girl’s voice was coming from

the living room

 

i mumbled an “oh” and told you goodbye

you didn’t respond while i turned around

you just watched me walk away

 

when we were 19

we came home from college

 

your dog was playing in the snow

and when you got out the car

he tackled you onto the ground

 

your mom invited us over

like she has for the past 19 years

and we sat across from one another

at the table for four

 

you smiled at me and

it was the first time you’ve done that

since we were in middle school

it made me smile with you

 

you asked me about school

you asked me about my life

you talked to me without being obligated to

it made me happy

 

at first i didn’t know

what to say but it got 

easier as the time went by

and it felt like we were 8 again

 

the day before we had to go back to school

you hugged me goodbye 

and told me you missed me

i missed you too

 

when I was 23

i wore all black

 

i cried and cried

with your mother

and him

 

you told me you loved me and then

you went away, you drove yourself

into the darkness and now i’m crying for you

 

like we’re in high school