Do I dare ask,
“Why can I not accept you as you are?”
We were in a narrow entrance to a bar, caught between two doors.
In the back alley—in the alcove—hidden from the public eye by the dumpster, I find it.
I am afraid you are going to do it.
And you are afraid of doing it.
It was like looking at a drawing in progress, a child’s drawing, from very close up. I was bent over it, watching the lines take shape.
I could not tell if it was your backpack
Or your life
That was too heavy
I can’t see your face
Every expression wiped off
A blank slate
Every time I see you
You give me a different reason
For having another drink
You were 27
You lived and died
You died a thousand deaths before you stopped breathing