There are three things I remember you by.
Your sun faded, red Vans that are quite literally falling apart. You refuse to retire them after years
of sweaty concerts,
lonely treks to past girlfriend’s houses
and mixtapes you cracked on the floor of
that red Ford you’ve dragged through hell
Oh Lord, we hated that car but you hated not feeling the wind claw at your cheeks
The hood is held on by zip ties and fervent prayers that
She can go
‘Just 50 miles more, Jesus.’
That floor is stained with coffee but the air of
Innocent passion lingers
And I smile as you inhale her scent
On the card she wrote to you
Before you went to Georgia
‘You’re sitting in her seat, you know’
Yeah. I know.
‘And you’re the only other pretty lady that can.’
I remember that damn car
Every smell and every rose petal you taped to the dash.
I remember the time you told me what love was
That it was two people
Fighting against the rest of the world that haven’t
Decided it was ugly yet
And hey, that’s what I thought for a long time.
We are laying on top of your car on Christmas Eve
With a line
From Brother on a Hotel Bed
Resounding in our chests
And knotted throats.
Even the crickets don’t fight the sound.
You tell me why I’m here
Why I haven’t died yet
Even though I’ve tried. You tap your red Vans against the
Roof of the red car and
You tell me that the hardest thing we ever have
Is the one thing we must and that is to live.
You let me curl into your side when you see me shiver
Even though you hate being touched.
But it wasn’t the cold.
I remember your eyes shining with pride
And stone cold with anger
And depths of pale green curiosity.
But I’ve never seen them the way they used to be
When I was too little to understand.
Dull and gray
A void of lifelessness and cold.
I remember you always driving a little too fast
And the music was always a little too loud
But your heart was always in the right place.
But that night you told me
There was a time
When you didn’t have someone to protect
Or a name worth carrying on.
There was a time when life was a choice of
Yes I give up
Or no I give in.
And when your eyes were black and foul,
with the red Vans you’ve worn a bit too long
You pressed on the gas pedal
a bit too much
To make yourself feel for the first
And last time.