Growing Pains

I stayed in touch with everyone.
Which really means: I still have
photo albums of us saved
somewhere in the basement,
and I check it every now and then.
In the haloed glare of mid-April,
we had pressed memory
into muscle, watched the blood
slip out from the opening moon
on your chin and into your cupped hands.
Bent over laughing, you had said
the wound would scab into a smile
that follows you into summer.
I watched the red plume
like spider lilies until I realized
I could no longer recognize your face
without the scar I planted there.
All my memories are ridged
with teeth, thick with flesh.
A few years distance and
I will remember nothing about us
but the simple sorrows of becoming.
A childhood of tunneling trees
reduced to one skin-piercing thorn.
Rena, now known only for pulling back
her fist before it collides with my nose,
and not her apology afterwards, or
every day before when there was no hurt.
Only a stringy, sapping sweetness we
stretched and broke between our fingers.
Last October I watched Y.K. leave
riven flesh flecked on the road,
their body hurled off a bike and
onto the pavement. On their chin,
familiar red umbels springing to life.
I remember everything about us
the way you remember entry
wounds—single flares of violent white,
eclipsing all the life that follows.