John, a poem

I’ve done two things I don’t normally do here.  One is a serious rewrite of a thing I wrote a month or so ago, that I considered finished. (It was titled A past friend.) The other is to indulge in nostalgia, usually I’m the optimist that drowned in the half filled bath.


We were friends, comrades,
you had my back
and I knew how your imagination worked.
Our pasts were shared
in my red-wine fast-forward
when you told me
your dad committed suicide;

Somehow, we two introverts,
turned out together
to be louder, dancing to March Violets.
I forgave you your Queen,
you overlooked my Nephilim.
We found common ground
in quantum mechanics
and the price of beer.

I read your stories,
shared my writing and reading.
(You treat my boyfriend as a stranger.)
So after working late,
we got into a gig for free. Again.
Because they were nearly done.
But we both liked the tunes
and the DJ set that followed.

I wish I’d known then
such high-nights are finite.
That next week’s band would really suck
in the worst way.
But that gig, I knew the live stuff
from a friend’s mixtape
and you knew the name
of that radio track.

That one song, late on,
that caught my mind
with its cartoon-fast imagery and defiance.
The tune’s still with me,
it’s grown, taken root; I live around it.
And every time I run away
I listen to that band.

But where did you go?

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