My memories trapped you like a fly in amber,
a certain moment, a certain light.
You, sitting on the rain wet cement steps
in one of Portland's city parks, head turned to look up at me standing.
A wry half smile on your face, shaved head damp and dusted with morning.
A cigarette in your right hand.
You had just finished telling me why
you weren't going to give a shit about the system, why nobody got it.
This one always comes first
when my mind calls your name, ushered out from the dusty files of days gone by.
There are more like it, all from that time, and I can get them if I ask for the bigger file.
A scrap of letter, a heart calling out, shared poems. These are shots of you
as you were, as my memory holds you.
Your life now is a story to me; I have no experience of it, of you for
so many years now.
So when I asked you why,
I was only asking for that story, not in any way accusing you for the progress and change you have deftly negotiated.
I'm sure those times are pushed into the back
of you now, your present full of
breakfast cereal and family, the challenges and joys of so many days.
In amber you have never left me, never married or grown older. We are young there in my mind, still talking to the trees
Heads thrown back.