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

Even more.

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

Hum thoughtfully.

You tell me that the hardest thing we ever have

To do

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.


This poem is about: 
My family



This is a truly beautiful poem. I felt such emotion, and I could see where you were and what it felt like. Thanks for posting this, it was a privilege to read. I hope you continue to write and show people the gift you have.

Additional Resources

Get AI Feedback on your poem

Interested in feedback on your poem? Try our AI Feedback tool.


If You Need Support

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741