An old picture, 1995, sophomore year.
She is in a lacey and big, white dress,
with black stockings and Converse sneakers.
Her light brown hair is a short, spiky, pixie cut.
Her dark eyes have the fire of lustful, youthful, perdition.
Her lips pale, unadorned, and set against the world.
That long ago afternoon, that first warm, bright day,
March, on her birthday, skipping school to have fun.
Catching a movie. Walk and talking and scheming.
The park, with only us, and a mother and her toddler,
far away. We sat by the creek, passed cigarettes.
Ate some snacks we brought in my backpack.
Just a simple day, with a girl I loved, without a care.
The air and the sun and the sky were weightless.
School, and that we’d have to return tomorrow, not on us.
Driving me home, a song played that said all I felt for her.
She was not in love with me, but I was honored to be with her,
to be her friend, to share a day like that, floating to the sky.
All these old feelings coming back, all these bittersweet hurts.
Hadn’t thought of her in so long, she who was the queen of my hopes.
I don’t know how it all turned out for her. Where she is now.
I look at the picture, from when everything was on fire and bright,
when it all seemed possible and so close, and magic was in every spring,
and all you needed was love, and a kiss, to open the gate to heaven.