A Poem for My Old Best Friend

by Kimiko Hirota

The pink skies and dry air
The blue tongues and dark secrets
soften like chalk pastels
on our fingerprints

Remember picking up pinecones
discovering the city by bike
surprised by anything
we could dig and bury

Nine p.m. is fading
The steepest sand hill
is still sinking
and your hair isn’t short anymore

My teeth are straight 
and my tires are flat
and your dog has been dead for years

So we move on 
thinking we’re clever
swimming against the tide
toward our new fears

We drive down one-ways
in opposite directions
remembering our swingset
when country Taylor Swift plays

We used to want each other’s 
happy stories
the way adults like sob stories
to donate to and feel better 
about themselves

We used to hold up the moon 
with our feet, peace signs high
popcorn stuck in our gums
Photographs veiled with dust
at the back of our drawers

I’m beginning to sleep 
before midnight
with the playroom black
The door closed

The dolls lay close
but not touching

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