It could have been ten, I was so young then
Just sixteen, you were just ‘old’
Policing my youth, like you always knew better
Me and Molly, your mall rats
We partied late into the night and brought you coffee at sunrise
You scolded our morning-after-those Wildberry Vodka Cooler dazes
And, craving popsicles and aspirin, we laughed as bearably as our hangovers let us,
And teasingly we called you “Dad”.
It could have been ten, but it changed then
Older and frightfully complicated,
I was always the Strawberry Daiquiri Girl
Swanning, butterflying around the bar every night
Beguilingly flirtatious, the sparkling faery of the party
But in a shadowy corner of my heart was tucked a desperate secret
I was trying to drown its searing pain in those hot-pink, icy cocktails
Troubled thoughts swooped and dived like lonely swallows
In the dark grey skies of my mind.
They frightened me.
So I never looked up at them.
It could have been ten, you were with her by then
Fluent in my “I’m fine – really!” language after all those years,
You worried about me
So often, you came looking
Finding me in the bar
Talking your sense
Then rescuing me
So I was safe.
One of those nights when you drove me home, suddenly I wanted you
The five-year gap forgotten, absorbed into a deep forest of immateriality
You looked away, pensive and reluctant to submit to my vodka-laced seduction
Gently removing my hand while avoiding the hunger in my take-me-now kiss
I could not understand
Didn’t you want me, too?
It could have been ten, but you’re not like some men
Lust and desire for you flooded my body
You could have had me that night in your car
It was true, I wanted you – it would have been easy
But afterward, nothing ever would have been easy again
Sex would have changed it all – you knew; you had always known
Did the cobwebs of the five-year gap from years before get in your way?
Or your beautiful conscience, drenched in unwavering integrity?
For whatever drove your choice, I am endlessly grateful
Because our friendship is immortal now
Galvanized by a sea of trust and respect
Which fills the infinite
With love xo