Seven Friends

We were supposed to make promises,
let our tongues taste commitment
and then say things aloud.

But the afternoon sun made us lazy,
lying on the warm wood of that dock,
while one—I think it was you—
dragged a reed through the waters,
that slick rip the only noise.

We were sixteen, seventeen, and
thought we’d already made our plans,
imagined the future was our own.

Seven of us that summer, and the next,
only two.

You and I made awkward conversation,
their absences throbbing like wounds
between us as we wished for that day

on the dock, when—given another chance—
we would have found our voices.


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