• Faded red-orange strands,
    the color of
    an eight of hearts left out in the rain
    while we sat wondering if the fish would die
    when lightning hit the river.

    Criss-crossing threads of black and red,
    like those shorts you’ve worn for, what, six years?
    I kept telling you to drink your milk:
    goodness knows you need the calcium.

    Stitches of faded gray
    used to be the bright blue
    of the river water that
    washed the color out of them.
    Now they’re the dull periwinkle
    of washed-out jeans.

    A dark string weaves through,
    a winding path
    black as death.
    I was mad that time when you
    broke my bike.
    Wrote your name three times,
    scribbling furiously in my notebook
    time of death: 12:25 pm.
    But I forgave you – you’re
    still alive, aren’t you?

    The bracelet is tied in green,
    the bright, grassy shade of a Sims 2 plumbob
    twisted out of shape
    because you spilled hair gel on
    the computer screen.