like your words in the afternoon as alarm bells

you do not need to be anything, 
raw fingers plucking violin strings

i was never good at music
but i remember your voice when you sang

and i remember when i could match you, 
deeper pitch to your soprano, 
and we were pretty and petty and perfect

and then they told us. 
and then they told us. 

and then i told you. 

and you didn't take it very well, 
and every december your voice lurks in the back of my mind
and i don't know what to say

because i can't make up for this
and i can't go back

but you make me feel like my heart's been 
like i'm just coffee beans 
waiting to be crushed in your hands for wakefulness

and i don't see how this is fair
or even 

and maybe it isn't
and maybe that was the whole point

but my skin never fit and you always
fit into yours too well 

i wonder what it says about us
that we were never anything but ourselves
yet i still itched at the edges
and you were careful to press yours down 
with a straightening iron

but my mornings are thin
like evening mist 
when there isn't enough oxygen on the inhale

and i realize that i wasn't anything
and that you were frightfully substantial

but we were younger than we are now
and i am nothing, 
but you already knew that

you knew before i did

so i taste bitter and heavy on your tongue,
i know, 
but i can't bring myself to be angry 

because all we ever did was press our hands 
against one another

and wish for more. 

The End

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