by Alexis Morillo
I can remember what you were wearing the first time we ever talked
a blue button up, ill-fitting khakis, Adidas, and fabricated confidence.
I can’t remember what you were wearing the last time we ever talked
and even if I could, I’m not sure I’d want to.
It’s too hard to remember the in-between
there’s no point in remembering it now.
The in-between is what most sad stories forget to cover
I don’t blame them for skipping that part anymore.
But they never forget to mention the importance of timing
It wasn’t fate or coincidence, it was too late.
Nothing can explain how time stopped with you and me
I am thankful for our stop-motion friendship (and whatever else it was).
The timeless scent of your sweatshirt’s neck: so familiar, so fleeting
I could still recognize that smell in an overcrowded room.
Or the small gap between your teeth that held everything you should have said earlier
I’ve sifted through my mind trying to determine the exact moment it all changed.
Then time restarted, I turned seventeen, now eighteen, writing about a “first heart-break”
It doesn’t have to be love to break your heart.
You were the ink in my favorite pen: a muse I never asked for
But I no longer see you as a metaphor.
Maybe in the next life things could work out
I’ve never been keen on second chances, though.
At least I do not say your name with venom on my tongue anymore
In fact, I do not say your name at all.