‘St. Joseph’s Day Festival’

April 15, 2016

If I get to heaven first, I will wait there for you.
Your kid pooch is waiting there too.
I know it’s worth the nights in the car,
retracing the pier.

The nights we’d cruise downtown with an innocent gleam in our eyes,
behavior that’s been criminalized,
but all would be excused with simply,
“Guess boys will be boys.”

You would chirp at the cars alongside at the red,
bug-eyed shades atop your brown head,
or pulled down to mask your wide stare,
voice chopped in a laugh.

Woke up Sunday to find you’d flown out through the glass,
the car crumpled up on the grass.
I writhed around a pink-walled dorm room.
It all fell apart.

Tried for years to transfer the width of your smile
to ornate words stretched out for miles
but settled for a lifted rhythm.
You don’t know the song.

Long wind, long metal wind
that brought your mouth to sing.

If I get to heaven first, I will wait there for you.
Dakota, Nate, Adam, the crew
assembled just like birds on the fence
awaiting your steps.

Arms wide, arms too wide.
But oh there comes a tide.

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