Twenty-Four

The first time you hugged me
was the night after you turned twenty.

I keep thinking about the space
between us in that hallway by your room,
and the suddenness of your thereness
how it stilled my lungs,
and how I haven’t been able to breathe normally since.

The last time you hugged me
was a year almost to the day
after we promised
we’d never lie to each other.

I keep picturing the space made as I drove away,
your ringtone pleading for me to come back
my heart wishing you hadn’t already broken me beyond repair
not knowing that the worst was still to come.

I am a pocket full of lost hope,
lint filled memories,
and gum wrapped in day old love.

In eleven days you’ll be twenty-four.

Saying that makes me feel so old.
The years stretched out like naive yearnings,
like summertime regrets crocheted into the stitches of winter
like I could have done everything in the world with you,
but didn’t.

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