Saturday, January 31, 2009

To Marquan

This is what I remember:
the way you sat in a desk, leaning back with only your shoulder blades touching the back of the chair like stunted wings
the way you smiled, your face a dark moon split wide by the man inside
the way you talked, slow and subtle, your words smooth and rich, maybe like caramel
the way you walked down the hall, surrounded by air, and the noise of the crowd didn't touch you
and I don't want to remember this, but I do: the final paper you turned in, a poem by Shel Silverstein you hoped to pass as your own. And when I confronted you on it, you just shrugged and grinned.

This is what I wonder:
did you think about our last conversation when you saw me?
should I have said hello to you more often in the hall?
how long did you feel like your edges were fading?
when did you decide to do it?
what could I, could anyone have done to stop you?

This is what I wish:
that you had told us what you were thinking
that someone had held you a fraction tighter
that your friends had heard your silence
that I had known, that I had tried, that I had prevented
that you had not dissolved
that life could go back and fix itself

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