Children to Strangers


Sometimes I wonder when we crossed the threshold from children to strangers.
Those summers we spent submerging marshmallows into grill flames and wearing out drawstring shorts stained red with cheeto dust.
Orange light hung low over the rolling hills of the cemetery, cutting through the trees as we sat on the hot wet grass.
Reading off tombstones, we’d talk about the dashes between the birth and death dates.
Giving life to the clumps of graves inscribed with the same last names, eroding there together in the dusk after sharing a Christmas ham or something a few decades prior.
I told you I found mausoleums unsettling and you said you sought comfort in death.
I can no longer remember the color of your eyes but I do know they said far more than your mouth ever did.
I miss the flash of light that snuck over your face after an honest string of words or a good hit.
I wouldn’t mind you stealing cigarettes from me again,
emerging from a shivering building slouched under smoke and heavy summer air,
the sidewalk pulsating with each step in our thin shoes.
I always loved you for your coldness.
How I could melt in your hand.
Pool on the table, fray the crossing grains.

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