I remember the first time I met you
back when I still believed in magic
and tore through more books
than meals at the dinner table.
I remember how small you seemed
how I could wrap my middle finger and thumb
around your wrist
and still, have both fingertips overlap.
I remember how I flung my winter jacket into the air once
in the fourth grade
and the zipper caught your right eyebrow;
I didn't mean to hurt you, but you cried anyway.
there is no elegant way to get the words out now
I can't take your conversations out of other people's mouths
and string you back together with them--
they are not mine to cut up and spit out.
those moments have soaked into the soil beneath us
they say we are all in a constant state of becoming--
you have stopped becoming
you have simply become.
become a wilting memory
become a name whispered under breathless pain
become something pulled from twisted metal on a highway
but I suppose you already know that.
there are no delicate realizations
the morning after
when we wake up
and you do not.
and the people who don't know you
will feel emptiness in their ribcages nonetheless
they are afraid that one day your face will take on the features
of a corner of their own heart, too.
your peers cried over your godliness at the service
and it sickened me
call it a collision with fate
but there was nothing holy about this.
the wreckage is what heartbreak feels like;
ours have all stopped pumping blood
we are just trying our hardest
to be closer to you.