We used to play in the woods behind our grandparents’ house,
sticking our hands out to brush against the mossy trees,
finding dead birds, making makeshift shelters —
so proud of our accumulations of sticks and leaves.
We used to burn lemons in fire pits,
laughing as they hissed and spat at us in anger.
We used to crush metal toy cars, collectibles I think, with big rocks
leaving weird stains on the pavement like chalk and blood.
We used to play football in the neighbor’s’ backyard
I was the lineman,
you were the QB
I passed back to you every time, you never passed to me.
We used to watch SpongeBob on our tiny black TV.
Sitting so close our eyes hurt,
using our feet to change the channel.
We used to fight about stupid things,
though they were never stupid to me.
You’d dress up in alien masks to scare me from behind.
Make me watch horror movies by force,
locking the door with a more frightening smile than the creators on the screen.
You’d yell at me.
Call me a baby.
You used to make fun of me when
I didn’t know the older boy things you knew.
Called me stupid,
Called me —–
You treated me like a mother when mom was gone.
Got violent when I wouldn’t do things for you.
Things you could do yourself, if you tried.
You liked me angry,
Liked me sad, with tears streaming down my “crybaby” face
It was easier for you to make fun of me because I was weak,
Then to, in any way, pretend to remember,
what it was like when you were my age
a few short years before.
We used to be friends you and I.
I know because I remember.
But now we are nothing but unhappy memories,
Of crying and blood melting in snow.