Poems For An Old and New Friend

My Brother’s Keeper

When your hair was long and curly you were nicer to me. 
Probably because you were only a little kid
and didn't know any better yet. 
You wised up quickly, didn't you?

Sometimes I get scared
Looking at you. 
Listening to you. 

Know this when I tell you:
I will always let you hurt me, 
Cut me deep. 
I will always care for you, 
even when you make me bleed. 

Does it help you?
To walk on me the way you walk on the pavement, 
Dragging the bottom of your torn up shoes over the gritty asphalt:
The screaming shuffle of soles on the soul of the ground. 

I don't mind if you need a shovel to love me. 
I want it to help you forget;
F o r g e t 
The wretched blonde with the big teeth who snuffed you out like a candle
And the brown-eyed girl with the bob who betrayed you, 
You know, the one in all the photos. 

I'll sit here and watch them burn and die
as they are sacrificed on the altar
where they worship
Will you go with them?
I don't think so. 

You were born knowing me. 
I too fondly remember
the relationship that will outlast time, 
Survive death, 
Win battles that end friendships. 

This is the affection that sinks my pride. 

The Number One

Spinning around the grocery store aisles too late
Zipping along the road with the windows rolled down
Jumping into the pool in the backyard
the way we jump into bed
swimming in the sheets
Drowning in conversations full of secrets the way we
drown in the crowds at the coffee shop
and the black puddles in the Publix parking lot
Running outside for the first and last snow of the year
Eating ice cream while we smile and hug and lie and explain and
wave goodbye
Screaming our song on the drive home in the dark at night
Faint light from the clock on the dashboard shining
like a spotlight as you sing out those sweet slumber party sounds
And suddenly I feel it seeping into me
the strangest eerie ache deep in my spine
An uncomfortable universal truth I can feel slowly coming to fruition
I know that I will never have a friend like this again.