The front porch is not the same
because the news of you
still haunts the steps,
before then inconsequential
because they would be there
tomorrow and next Wednesday.
But now memory heavies them
like dark, deep water,
and I struggle to recall your breathing days.
I remember your orange shirt at the party
and how you grinned when a girl winked
and swished her skirt as she strolled away.
I should have made more effort
to store what it sounded like
when you spoke to me.
You are a waft of expensive cologne
a swoop of gelled hair
a glint of a tongue ring buried
in a sea of responsibility and good humor,
ambitions unrealized, unfinished cigarettes
and a disappearing chuckle.
The porch you will never see
will always be yours because that
is where you died to me.
And lately I laugh at unrelated jokes
and am pained
to enjoy what is lost to you,
but I tire of anticipating
what you ‘would have wanted’
because the answer is only to live
and I regret not having really known you.