Rich

Rich,

You were a corpse last we met.
Not gracefully deceased in a coffin gift box.
Not wrapped in satin, painted in peace.
Not a decorated comfort to mourners.

Remember when we played survival and ate cactus?
You had the knife – I went along.

You came to us in cardboard.
Like something ordered and delivered
Like some evidence for our trial.
Like some thing.

Remember we built our fort and raised a flag?
I swept the pine needles from the floor.

I have your poems.
They are inky track marks.
They are smoke rising from a shabby Chicago room.
They are the ashes of you.

Remember when we walked the dark city streets?
We were fearless then.

Mom found your stash.
And there, your journals.
And there, your ashy dreams.
And we, the unpeaced living.

I received you out of context.
We are estranged pieces of a whole.
I held you in my fingers,
I let you float on currents of air and water.
I knew to do that.

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