They never told me me how cold your mausoleum would be
Nobody told me that losing you would be my biggest trauma,
A lump of coal, under the pressure of time,
Forged in the fire of avoidance,
Creating a beautiful and dreadful diamond of a depression diagnosis.
Now laser cut that with rage, polish it with poison and place it on the ring with which Bipolar Disorder proposes a perpetual partnership.
Who would have thought that your death would make me the most popular kid in school?
Though from then on, I always sat alone at lunch,
Surrounded by waves of friends and classmates,
Shielding me from the paparazzi of teachers and counselors wanting to know what I was wearing on my sleeve each day.
They didn’t warn me that losing you would set my sanity back some years,
Yet emotional maturity forced me to read a few pages ahead.
I hate that money became an issue
That forgiveness was a stranger who was never allowed to sit in our pew on Sundays
That Inay’s cancer could heal some relationships
I didn’t know that every grilled cheese sandwich would become an homage to you.
I wish I were taller
Or that you were a row below where you are now
It’d be easier for me to rest my head against you for once
I’d kiss you again before I never left
Nobody ever told me mausoleums were so cold
There are conversations we never woulda had were it not for
The piercing silence, always strung with calmness
Words spoken there were sparse
As silent sentiments spoke volumes
In those days, depression had become a friend,
Sometimes behind the wheel giving me a ride so that we could all hang out
And God never asked me about giving up my birthday for your death anniversary.
For what would’ve been your school dances and proms
I was there, so maybe you were too.
I try to find comfort in the remnants of you,
You, the pressed flowers I find stuck between pages
Between graduations and heartbreaks
Newborn babies and newfound loves
You, the one nestled in the bosom of Mother Earth
You, perched delicately on the shoulders of the horizon
The line that lies, for one precarious moment, between a dark night of the soul and a brave new day.
They didn’t tell me that you don’t stay 13
They said you’d always be with me.
As I felt Father Time tighten his grip on mine,
I was naive to think we would leave you in 2005
Yet in his other hand
He still firmly held yours
Bringing you along as we all walked,
A year younger than me
As you always will be
You don’t stay 13.
And there are still days
When I wish we were 12 again
Because you’d really be here.