By: Riley Eleanor
When you moved your legs closer to mine
Next to me
(Under the shade of the tree where I spent my childhood summers)
(On the bench where I made my best friend)
(In the park that I learned what poetry was)
(On the street which I first walked my dog)
I tried to ignore everything I had ever heard about body language.
You patted my knee
(Right above the scar I got climbing trees)
And your holding hand landed next to mine
(Which was wrapped around my now aging dog’s leash)
(The same hand that wanted to grab yours)
So I tried to keep from flinching
(Not because you scared me but because you didn’t)
(I wanted you closer but I shouldn’t have).
I looked down at my feet
(Remembered them racing you to the shed)
(Racing you down my street)
(Racing you in dreams)
(You crept in to every one of them)
I wondered if you knew that I hate running
(I haven’t done much of it since you)
(But I wanted to sprint away from that moment).
When you said your goodbyes
(Which sounded like people tripping down stairs)
(And broken records)
(And shattered glasses)
(And the crack in my father’s voice when I saw him cry for the first time)
You stumbled on your words
You said it was my fault
I seemed to make you forget anything you wanted to say.
The last words you said to me were “stay radiant.”
I didn’t respond
(For I was too transfixed by the clouds)
(I realized they belonged to me more than you ever would)
I was already gone
Having realized I could never care for anyone
Who valued his own comfort
Above the truth.