Dear Jane

An eightpack of Coldsmoke cans
in that cheap metal basket
on the back of your beloved bike.
Squeakily, we walked back to your house,
to your tiny room over the porch roof,
where I crawled out and told you I might jump.

Who were you?
A girl who listened to
Dark Side of the Moon
with me on your record player,
with those speakers that we got at Good Will,
nursing our Coldesmokes like
true beer enthusiasts.

We enjoyed dive food at Flipper’s
on Third Street, right before the bridge.
We spoke about how you wanted to
disappear into the woods like Chris McCandless,
and I told you that I wished to do the same.
“Come with me,” you said. And I said, “Okay.”
You sat silently, realizing your slip.

Night fell, and we ascended
Sentinel to the M, where you can see
all of Missoula through the smoke. The lights
by the airport, and across the bridges,
“And there is the liquor store.”
Laying on the cool concrete in silence,
after some deliberation, you took my hand.

I did not question it. I did not want to ruin it.

We tumbled down the steep switchbacks
in search of water that I knew was waiting
in the fridge in my dorm room.
You tripped a couple times.
I tried to catch you, but you didn’t need me.

We held hands again briefly in my dorm,
and you told me that it was best that we not do more.
We walked back to your house,
not speaking much, tired from the days events.
You fell asleep quickly on your bed,
while I stare out the window,
sipping more Coldsmoke,
taking in the cool evening air.

When I laid down to sleep in your bed
with your permission, you rested your hand
against my back. I did not sleep well,
and when I did, dreams came, warning me
of the inevitable ending.
It was not long after that,
that we said goodbye for good.

Dear Jane,

Picture me jumping deathwishedly
From the footbridge beneath Higgins Street,
Into the cold waters where we
Once released our paper boats together.
Then you will see with what plunging recklessness
I fell for you.

(From December 2012)

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