You blew off seventeen candles, which guarded a vanilla frosted surface like sentinels.

Little did we know that you would soon extinguish the steady knocks on your ribs with a bullet.

We saw you off at the threshold, off to a cocktail soiree, bearing only proud smiles that parents can bear, as you skipped over to the driveway.

You settled behind the wheel of your'68 Mustang, the one you spent countless Sunday mornings washing, while rock 'n' roll ricocheted off the garage walls.

We pulled in seven minutes too late, to see a letter on the dashboard, a shattered temple and the cruel silver glimmer of a pistol.

Your romance had withered, like the yellow tea rose bouquet wrapped in cellophane that you laid in her outstretched palms that night, three autumns ago.

She was gone.

We begged your vacant corpse to breathe again. We begged your eyelids to open, see your brilliant cerulean eyes sparkle with life again. We begged the veins under your translucent wrist to pulse with blood again. We begged your deafened ears to listen to our pleas. We begged the gun, and the bullet to hide itself under Daddy's socks in the bottom most dresser drawer.

They didn't listen.