you're it this time.

so now comes the letter-burning time;

where ashes will litter the doorway of my apartment and the drunken poet

who lives across the hall will write me a poem about lost loves

and letter-burning time & i will add those ashes to the grime of yours

and your pictures too.

and your pictures too

will go into the shredder. my mother will inquire politely.

i will smile; say "closure"

so she will nod and make me hot chocolate

(real hot chocolate) not the lukewarm packaged kind that

you liked to drink.

you liked to drink.

& the garbagemen will grumble at the unusually large amount

of beer bottles and cans they will have to carry down

the very same steps we stumbled through one lonely night long ago

& for a moment i consider kicking all your alcoholism down

the very same steps we sprawled upon when you told me that

you loved me.

you loved me.

& i liked to think i loved you too, for the span of a mixtape

unwinding and unwinding at the radio, the mixtape you made me the day we fell apart.

i crashed my car into a tree thinking of you and blinded by you yet again

and staggered out coughing blood while frank sinatra played on

and on and on.

and on and on.

the doctor droned over me in the white hospital bed. "internal bleeding"

he said cheerfully and i almost laughed out loud at the sheer coincidence

if not for the tube down my throat. so i thought of ripping it away and

running back to the drab gray walls of your apartment

a few blocks away from mine.

a few blocks away from mine

your slice of life stands empty of my belongings and

we liked it that way. soon the quality of the light will change

and we will fumble back into our separate compartments of life

occasionally coming out again to knock on each other's door

& borrow a cup of what?

sugar for me; vinegar for you.

a polite thankyou goodbye goodluck and we will leave each other again

when all cliches have been exhausted.