Press enter after choosing selection
Grade
9

So,

You’re eleven years old and you’re at baseball camp

Because that’s the summer your parents decide they can’t stand to pretend to stand

One another anymore

So you’re in the outfield with your brothers’ old glove

Just watching it all

And everything is miles and miles away.

 

And then it’s August and you’ve come home

And the world has shifted in imperceptibly remarkable ways.

We bike downtown to the beaten down book store beside the 7/11

And you’re flipping through a old Batman comic

As you tell me you don’t think you like baseball.  

 

Middle school with its flitting fancies and flights of ill humor

Sends you shooting up out of all your old clothes and inclinations.

I watch you give your heart to a pretty girl

As my veins are chock full of ice.

July sees me kissing a girl in the dark of a theater sticky with popcorn butter,

And it’s crude and I’m clumsy and I walk out feeling emptied and squeezed so dry

I don’t think I could shed even a tear.

 

And then

You’re flying and it’s so

So wonderful

If even for just a moment

As the wheels of your red bicycle

Skirt the laws of gravity and leave the earth in a blaze,

Kicking clouds of dust up in your wake.

You wonder that the sky has always been this close,

And you go one mile, and then three, and then seven

Until all becomes a speck on your horizon.

When you reach where you are going,

Will you ever turn your head back and look for me?

 

I remember the afternoon they found you

The sky was a patchwork of red and the lakes were on fire,

And the world, in all its eccentricities, popped into life so bright it hurt to look.

I was cold, so I put on a sweater and inched closer to the space heater.

The mourning and all the black

Entered our lives with the April rains

Extinguishing all evidence that there was once a person called you.

It rained for a long,

Long time.

And in the wet world that emerged

The vision of you on that red bicycle

Pranced into my waking dreams

And entangled my restless nights.

State
Maryland
Zip Code
20878