You were the sound of blue flame hurled from two outstretched palms,
the holy ha do ken of Saturday morning Streetfighter 2 match ups.
You were the up, down, up, down, b, a, start cheat code that threw pixelated flaming fists
and made us all invincible.
You were the face reflected in a bicycle’s chrome handlebars ,
circling the street on two spinning wheels polished and
singing in the clink clink choir of new spokey dokeys.
You were the shock of red in the long shadow of a wheely bin standing in for wickets,
cast in the holy orange light of 10,000 suns setting
on the last overs of cul de sac cricket matches.
you are a face I see in old home movies,
a ghost in the machinery of memory,
and a space in the air that breathed you back in.
And I stood there in the graveyard years later,
waiting to send someone else back to the earth,
my eyes full of mortgage and rust,
the only part of me worth writing poems about perched on my hip,
all thumb suck and perfect id
and I couldn’t remember where in the ground we put you.
What I remembered
was my 14 year old fist
pounding the earth
trying to find some way to say sorry for being the one
who gets to stay.
When your blood turned against you,
declaring a strange war in your bones,
I imagined myself courageous and miracle thumbed
standing at the life support machines
looking for the controller to punch out up, down, up, down, b, a, start
and make you
But I stayed away
afraid of seeing the space you were about to leave behind.
This is why I fear death,
This is why I write these dumb death poems,
I am afraid that one day, my friends will come to find my bones,
To bring me back in their minds for a final round Streetfighter rematch
and the place where the ground took me back will be forgotten too.
And I will be just another ghost in the machine.
Another face in home movies.
And a line in someone’s dumb poem.
I am sorry for all of this.
You are missed.