second to last day

miss do you think i should cut my hair

for my interview at the courthouse? you

asked me today.

 

do i think you should cut your hair?

the hair that took you a year to grow,

the hair that marks you

the kind of person

who would have been

my kind of person–

the spray-painting cracked parking lots at dusk and

swinging on the playground in the dark kind of person–

if we’d gone to school together?

 

no.

i don’t.

but what i think

and what the world thinks

aren’t the same, are

in fact

growing more and more heartbreaking

in their difference.

for emily

it’s been three years without you.

the bookmark they gave out at your funeral

is still hanging up in my room.

i look at it every day.

 

what i dream of is an art of balance.

 

my dreams are off-kilter these days,

these years,

this lifetime.

wonky the way life

ultimately always is.

 

wish you were still a part of it.

32oz. mason jar

i didn’t see it happen,

only heard the crash,

only saw,

walking up the driveway,

your rage sparkling like shattered glass

in the morning air,

your blood red anger

sharp in the dappled sunlight.

 

 

i got the keys and drove you to the E.R. where

they stitched up your hand,

good as new.

there’s too much, too much, too much, love.

for a couple hundred bucks

we agreed to play house that fall—

in truth, it was the house of my dreams;

to the clash of age of adz

i touched the walls and pinched myself,

unbelieving.

well i have known you, for just a little while,

but i feel i’ve known you, i feel i’ve seen you,

since the earth was split in fives.

 

twenty minutes into “impossible soul” and

i taste the first corn chowder and biscuits i

made from scratch,

the feel of those wooden bowls as I scrubbed them in the slate farmhouse sink as

you restarted the album from the beginning.

i feel the uneven pages of that copy of the poisonwood bible

i stole when they came back from vacation early

and i wasn’t quite finished.

i stuffed it in their mailbox months later with an apology

scrawled on the back of a receipt.

 

it’s taken six years for me to once again be able to

make it all the way through to the last lines:

i gotta tell you boy, we made such a mess

boy, we made such a mess

boy, we made such a mess together

 

remember the poetry i wrote for you

along the highway in honoka’a in

the shadow of mauna kea,

my fingers sticky with rambutan and stolen guava?

 

remember the stories i collected in waimea and kona and in

the back of strangers’ toyota priuses,

chevy pick-up trucks,

ford focus hatchbacks,

headed towards unnamed beaches at dawn?

 

remember all the love letters i wrote to you, staring out at hilo bay?

 

neither do i;

you made me watch as you

you burned them all.