Saturday, December 10, 2011


When I say I envy
You, I mean I envy
The choices and chances you had,
Nothing more.  See, love,
I used to say, love,
That the world never stops
For us, that there is no pause
In life's brutal rhythm,
And whatever it throws at us,
Our tired feet must find
Some way to stay in step.

But that wasn't true
For you, was it?
When you fell apart, everything
Ground to a halt—I 
Ground to a halt—
But for every dollar and every
Day spent on your well-being
You couldn't be well.

I never got that opportunity. 
The drums never stopped
Beating for me; throbbing behind
My temples in the space between
Asleep and awake.  I was left to wait
To watch our money run out without
Your income and try to keep
Our roof over my head.

There was no recovery for me
No respite from the hard world
On Daddy's dime.  I never told you:
I couldn't cry for four months after
You left.  Careening on the brink, I wrote
Truth disguised as fiction and fiction
disguised as poetry.  Finally it all poured
Out, sobs and screams and the words
“I love you every damn day—”
I still do, you know, though
Every damn day now your fingerprints
Fade a little more from my skin. 

Once I admitted I was in mourning
I couldn't stop.  I sank deeper into it
With each month.  But still there was
No rest: I had bills to pay and flooded
Apartments to flee: It's not always sunny
Here, no matter what the television says.
Not all of us get to live at a halfway
House in a Florida suburb. 
Every raindrop was another beat,
And I kept my bloody feet dancing
And threw back my head and sang
Sisyphus' song: I embraced
My rugged fate.

But beneath reality's callus
There's still that boy in me
Who drove six hours to take
You dancing on the sand
That night you felt too alien
To face your own senior prom.

I envy the choices and chances
You had.  If you'd given the same
To me, maybe this could have lived.

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