“I am still right here.”
she said, having taken off her shoes.
After a while, it seemed kind of obvious to him
that she wasn’t being wholly truthful.
It wasn’t on purpose.
“I mean,” he said, with a vernacular as meaningless
as his desire
to write poetry,
“I guess so.”
With that faltering look-
the one that he had grown to hate
for reasons he would never fully understand
she spoke, her voice humid and her mouth a trembling oblique,
He only hoped to be comforted by the warmth of her tears.
He hated the solitude, his own warmth.
Her tears never pressed themselves deep into his shoulder,
never pushed hot breath into his sweater in frustrated shakes.
He began to think that his adolescence never meant anything,
that if it didn’t mean something right now, that it couldn’t at all.
and as he thought about tomorrow,
which hung over him like the rest of his mortality,
He instinctively wondered:
“Have I ever impacted somebody to the point that they’ll think of me fondly?”
In that thought, he stopped breathing for a couple of seconds,
and then went to bed.