i saw 
you wandering
through my wares
pulling open bags
ripping box tops wide
what did you hope
to find 
i was so busy
making change
that haggling 
self worth
and hoping 
nothing got damaged
or stolen
was impossible.
i thought
my door
was impassible,
but you,
heels kicked up,
grabbing snacks,
leaving crumbly
on the carpet,
without a 
right at home
in my house.


what brings you to level?
like two feet feeling firm 
on terra firma?
at 49, I see the longform
in the agonizingly short days of 
poetic teenage stanzas.
and remain amazed how 
angst and adolescence made
it beyond our imagination that 
adults could ever have 
existed in this space.
just before you called
i found a journal filled 
with still life held still with 
masking tape and highlighter
faded postits and bent corners
curled around events that seemed
at the time
like they were shaping and shaking
the universe.
remember that Cure concert 
we attended at ontario place, 
or was it at the exhibition
when we smoked a joint and missed 
the opening act? remember? -you plead.
flashing lights and midnight go bus rides fall
into place beside
moments of weed and time travel.
all are friendly folk, 
so i smile and say- we didn't even notice
that the concert was only 10 minutes long.
or that the next day, 
waking in your backyard, our clothes smelled 
like lake ontario.
school wouldn't matter that day.
we did not stop talking about the
concert we didn't see and 
couldn't help but to compare
it to the Depeche Mode concert
from the year before.
did we even see that one? you joked.
Who's hair is cooler Martin Gore
or Robert Smith's? - i replied.
neither's could possibly reach 
any higher or randomer level of excellence.
and honestly, we both wanted to 
look like Morrisey anyways.
we were both posers in this poem
but thought we had tongues of
when we get old we will keep 
going to concerts. - we thundered.
when we get old we will still 
be friends.
when we get old, we will not forgot how
we got there.
or how it ends.
we used to call each other often.
without much effort
the tired ash of our 
previous lives sparked
back into flame easily.
though each time the kindling
resisted just a little more.
looking back is safer than looking forward 
-you said.
forward means to step out into
unknown depth and breadth. -i now thought.
like that time we probably maybe likely
in lake ontario, punched carp, and woke up
on dry land on lounge chairs beside
the birdbath.

after the diagnosis, fires never burned
as brightly.
there seemed like there was so much less
space to feel the light feels
like breezes on your damp neck 
or bird calls at 5AM.
we had been parted longer than together and
life asked us both to grow up.
we tried puffing up saying 'whatever'.

flash forward and a pandemic 
has me looking back at these moments that look
back on moments that stare me down
and tell me to 'sit', 'stop',
'pick up the phone'.