Tyler and I in Olympia

When we were young
we sat side by side

on a bus, licking each
others words like spilt

milk, and I told you once
that when I was a kid

my dad yelled, but you
taught me how to play

poker in the singsong
September swan drive

of Olympia, approaching
the gangly foliage growth

spurt along the freeway, eyes
wide from city capitals, and

blue jeans bent forward in
comical gestures of importance,

and somewhere there is a
picture of me sitting beside

you, smile wide though my
teeth don't show in the whirl

of scenery like a sea of green,
Washington-worshiping and

pointing at cracked ceilings
forged from the last earthquake

and that was the last picture
of me taken with you, or so

I've led myself to believe.