Russian Penpal


I gave you one last chance to say something nice
Like mothers do
You parted your hair in the middle and smoked a cigarette
This time I said it first
Almost impossible not to look down when you looked up
I came out of my coma to find you still sleeping in
Though everything we knew was easily explained
We chose to believe in UFOs and angels, werewolves in winter
So I imparted wisdom, because you said I was wise
“Life is about figuring out the score, all the while acting bored.”
You said poetry was better when it didn’t rhyme
So I apologized for my crime
“Poor taste,” you scolded when I joked at your brother’s funeral
But he was my friend, too, and you only cried for genes
I laughed from memories
This was impeccable timing on my part
You were drinking milk
We don’t say sweet things to each other, out of love
We don’t ever want to get the lines crossed
I didn’t tell you about the time I wrote a letter
To a boy in Russia, I figured they were lonely people
But that was childhood and we have terrible memories
Mostly we just talk about the news
Which neither of us knows anything about,
We like the sound of our voices, yours most of all
That could be a better line
Than the one I gave you when we met
Something about dying young being less tragic than dying old
What do we know about any of it
We barely live, just get out of bed to say mean things
And your brother stopped returning my calls

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