a ballad for mon:
like so many others at the beginning, you were nothing but a stranger in a blue shirt
nothing but young and carefree and blissfully lost like the rest of us.
until you weren’t- i can identify the exact moment-
you looked straight into me and your eyes were too blue but i couldn’t break away
so we stayed that way for a long time.
i saw too much inside of you then and much later,
i kissed you
i tasted redbull. i tasted devastation.
i couldn’t tell which was which.
you were monica when you finally told me the truth
so horrid i was sure it was lies
nights being sold and bought and torn apart.
my image of you behind a bar burned so fast i never thought of it again
i never went to that bar even as a sick joke,
once i knew that your feet had never danced there, never even walked.
but within us there was still you.
there was you with your deceitful laugh; the way you made us all feel ok and on edge and upset and so we all just drank and drank
i wanted to keep you going but i wanted to shut you down
i tried so hard to protect you but my own chest was too exposed
my tears, my vulnerability, clubs never were such fun when you ended up alone
and without your friends nothing was anything.
even the boy with the pale turquoise converse and the saxaphone,
that same man who wanted to lick me into oblivion–
they all had you in their faces.
they all had me in your arms.
because, i will never, ever, for as long as i have eyes and a soul,
be able to forget your pain-by-proxy
all of you spilling onto one fat clump of tissue
i will forever despise
all of you pouring into my hands, my mouth, my heart,
my brain– you bitch–
i am sorry for taking you dancing and feeding you pizza because it was the best i knew how to do.
at least i knew your favorite toppings.
i am sorry for pulling back your sleeves, because,
i knew your favorite toppings.
i am sorry for telling on you but
you were too much, always too much.
but even when i couldn’t separate you from blood and tissues and those sleeves you’d fight us with,
i always knew you another way.
you were chocolate bars bought and joints rolled for those you loved,
you were a smile every early gray morning like i have never seen before or since,
you were cigarettes lit and shared on the stone steps and in the cold of the streets,
you were the loudest laughter and i don’t even bother to wonder what of it might have been fake.
you were drinks at the bar, you were vulgar, you were violent, vile, clean,
you were my mother and sister and siren and friend and whore,
you are the kiss i wont forget,
the drugs in my system that i cannot be rid of,
you were the crossing the street and you were the getting hit and you were every inch of being hurt and pretending not to be hurt.
you were my happy hour, my happiest hour.
you may be the one thing i’ll never stop loving,
the one thing i’ll always be scared of.
at the end of the day you are everything made of nothing
and i know thats how you always wanted it.
so ill drift to sleep with your real name on my lips but what i called you in my heart,
and i’ll dream of you:
in the dream we are just us and we are unscarred and we are whole
and i’ll delight to be with you,
but nothing ever stays
and i bet
i’ll wake up feeling hungover
smelling your smell,
thinking of you how you always hoped to be remembered
laughing coyly at the world
spitting on its empty sidewalks, demanding more. taking little.
you would smile into the camera until the film came out,
if only it would convince the rest of us.
what scares me moni is how much i can miss you
when you’re not yet gone.
happy birthday, my beautiful broken girl.