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Ferris Wheel

Saturday the 44th

This is where we said we’d meet, by the Ferris wheel in my dreams, like it was a real place and not on the edge of all the worlds. You were anyone, faceless and holding white flowers in one hand and pink cotton candy in the other. They’re for you, you said without any lips. I laughed at the craziness of it.   I looked up to the yellow and red cars on the wheel, circling the planet that was us and wondered if gravity would really...

red door to anywhere

Friday the 43rd

We argued that day, looking for the safe house. There’s no one to ask for directions, I said. It’s not a guy thing. You clicked your teeth, the way I hate, the way you do when you want to piss me off. But the pencil drawn map said 434 Amity Rd. I held it in front of your face, made you look until you believed me.   We didn’t dare circle the block again. Not with the Seekers out there looking for anyone still human. You took...

apartment building

Thursday the 42nd

You did everything in squares. Four was your magic number, the one that calmed you, the one you divided everything by. It took your mother and I a few years to figure this out, how you slept better in the refrigerator box you made into a fort, and how fifty-six cheerios in your bowl went down without a tantrum.   We weren’t as smart as you, not by a long shot, but you helped us along. You made us better. And when we took that last trip...

table and chairs

Wednesday the 41st

You told me once that you were Alice in another life. The Alice. You said this while looking out your fire escape window. Three Tabby cats, well feed and rough looking, stared at you from the outside. At night, their eyes glowed orange, the same color as their fur.   You were always making stuff up. I didn’t believe you about the Alice thing. But that all changed that night you called after midnight. I need you––that’s all you said before hanging up. I ran down the...

tree canopy

Tuesday the 40th

We were layered up and walking with our Tim Hortons coffee. You left your lid open so it would cool, and I went straight in for the mouth burn. You didn’t say much, and I was cool with that. I didn’t like your voice. For an English teacher, the voice was all wrong––growly and sandpaper rough. Like you were a smoker or a blues singer from way back. But your profile didn’t mention either of those things. Said you were into long walks and dogs...

Leto the saint

Monday the 39th

Half a lifetime ago, I came here to take pictures, to drink, to get infested by the city. It’s where I found the Fox Den and Leto with his wild, blonde dreads and black reader glasses. There were others like me; creatives, doubters, dreamers and drunks. We told stories and drank, threw darts and drank and Leto, he kept making the drink. He’d clasp his hands together and bow after serving us, as if it was an offering. He’d smile, and his glasses would slip...

picture of heart

Sunday the 38th

Valentine’s day, twenty-three years ago, was the first time I gave you flowers. You were ten, same as me.   I didn’t know I'd do it when I got up that morning, not until Jessie hit the ball over Mrs. McGinley’s fence. I went after it, climbing over the new fence boards. I ripped my jeans on a nail and cussed a streak knowing mom would give me an ear full when I got home. The ball was half hidden under some wild flowers. A whole planter...

bench with streetlight

Saturday the 37th

You said it was poetry––the block of grey blue sky and greasy clouds. You patted the bench beside you, but I didn’t sit. The park smelled of fried chicken and waffles from that place across the street, the one we never did try because who mixed chicken and waffles?   The rain started up, slow at first, then dumping everything it had been saving up. Neither of us moved––you sitting there, and me facing you, watching your stillness.   The clouds closed in, closed up, until all I saw...

living room chair

Friday the 36th

Your mom’s selling her house, your house. She called me up, needed some help with the toilet in her bathroom. Always hated fixing other people’s plumbing (kinda goes without saying) but I didn’t say no to her, I never could. She was the gateway to you…   She made me lunch when I finished up, telling me about her garden and her bridge club. There was something sad in the way she talked, and I wondered if the sad was for me. I wanted to tell her...

girl on the wall

THURS. THE 35TH

I quit smoking. Did it without you. But that’s not how I wanted it to be. There was a lady at the picnic table, smoking, flicking ash on the ground. I sat down anyway, hanging onto my coffee with both hands so I didn’t rip that cigarette out of her fingers.   Both of us faced the girl on the wall, the one that looks nothing like you but somehow does. I knew a girl like her, I said. Knew her, lost her and now I’m looking...