Elegy For Peter

by Jake Matkov

The box under my bed containing things stolen during your wake. Your mother still holds one – even though it’s a sin, your suicide, the soft side of your hand hit me in fear. I save the print on paper

airplanes – flying with the same brevity as moths, yesterday, your obituary – I steal that, too – your mother too busy to notice – me there; a sin, your suicide, the soft side of soil. At your grave I have not visited –

The last time I was in your house, your parents were on vacation but still we hid in your room – away from the crosses nailed to the wall. We hid from all the holy yesterdays nailed in Jesus – to a cross. I steal the cross hanging over your bed. The room washed clean – your sin, your suicide,

the soft side of your last breath. Maybe we will understand when I’m older, more thoughtful, and you would love me because I’m so thoughtful –

Sitting at your desk I find in the drawer a photo of us. Taken at a Halloween in July party. You, Clark Kent, hidden identity under your suit and there comes a sudden burst of knowing what guilt now knows. You kept a napkin stained red: remnants from a pie filled with cherry preserves – it’s perverse – I take it anyway. Place it –

in the memory box under my bed when instead I should be helping you change lightbulbs, lending a hand, moving that snail back out the backyard where the soft side of soil freshly tilled doesn’t seem so horrible –

A bruise swelling the soft side of my side crashing into the side of the liquor cabinet. I steal your mother’s finest champagne – pop! – toasting my 23rd birthday on a seven mile walk home. I am drinking the bottle whole, straight from the bottle. Following the curves of curbs with the soft side of suicide on my mind, my

fingertips touching extra guitar string I stole from your guitar case. I am dismissing those thoughts as thinking.

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