As a kid, I had a close friend whose family moved away and suddenly one day he was just gone. For some reason, the memory of losing him has always been tied up with this other one…


heads over heels over
heads over heels
we tumbled on grass
down the hill which was really
a ditch that we filled with
the reckless abandon of
young joints, rubber bones,
still-soft spines
jumbling together day after
summer day
turning green, yellow
with dandelions
and rode in the back
of the van with all
the seats pulled out, each of us
on a wheel well—
our saddles—
the great horse bucked, braked
heads over heels over heads
soft spines, blond skulls
wedged under captains’ chairs
your keening wail
a mother’s stifled cry
a father’s thick fingers tight
on the stick shift
in that bare metal time capsule
on that day when everything
stood still.

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