Yesterday, I thought of you while driving
down the barren roads of Philadelphia
at four a.m. listening to the cassette tape
with all of your favourite songs by The Smiths,
I thought of the space between your collarbones
and how every time I stare at the empty seat beside me
I can only see the shadows settling in the place that you left.
I never understood why rain always insisted on slamming onto my roof
louder than the neighbour boy who plays his drum set into the night
even when everyone knocked on his door and complained
he never stopped, just played a little softer
to the tune of the pitter-patter of raindrops
and it sounded like my heart beating against your chest
it sounded like white noise, silence but not empty.
I have a hard time reading the morning newspaper now
until coffee blurs all the letters into streaks of irrelevance
I’m afraid of your face appearing beside a headline that
crafts you into a sad story because even Shakespeare couldn’t
have written a tragedy that would have done you justice
even e.e. cummings couldn’t have laced together words beautifully
enough to describe the look in your eyes when you smiled.
Last night, the red brick wall on the side of the high school
was vandalized by two boys armed with two cans of spray paint
who plastered the words “I forgive you” and I didn’t even wonder,
not even for a second, who they had forgiven,
only that after you swallowed hard and sang yourself to sleep,
that I had forgiven you.
I just wish you had forgiven yourself.