Joshua
David Estringel

I heard, today, that you died 

nine years ago.  

My friend wasn’t sure— 

said he heard whispers– 

so he asked for your last name, 

but I couldn’t remember 

no matter how hard I tried. 

Going down the list 

in my mind,

yours was the only one— 

a blank space 

where my heart and mind— 

maybe soul– 

used to be.  

No surprise. 

It’s been fifteen years. 

Why would I? 

Why should I? 

You left me 

months before I walked out the door. 

I was too much. 

You weren’t enough— 

at least that’s what you told yourself. 

Nothing would change your mind. 

You wouldn’t let it  

And, now, 

you’re gone. 

So, here we are, again, 

after all this time. 

Me,  

trying to feel. 

You, 

resurrected— 

a nameless shadow 

on the tip of my tongue 

that escapes me,  

as always. 

My friend thought it sad 

to have been dead for so long  

without anyone noticing, 

but that is the way you wanted it. 

Damn your love 

of needles and straws 

and backroom shame! 

Damn, you 

and your enemies within,  

for not believing you were worth more! 

No, you won’t get my tears– 

not this time. 

You’ve had your fill. 

Bet they still taste as sweet. 

But, you can have my hate, 

dear Joshua. 

Neither of us needs it, 

anymore. 

David Estringel is an avid reader and poet. Writer of fiction, creative non-fiction, & essays. His work has been accepted and/or published by Specter Magazine, Literary Juice, Foliate Oak Magazine, Indiana Review, Terror House Magazine, Expat Press, 50 Haikus, littledeathlit, Down in the Dirt Magazine, Route 7, and The Good Men Project. He is currently a Contributing Editor (fiction) at Red Fez and editor/weekly columnist at The Good Men Project. David Estringel can be found on Twitter (@The_Booky_Man).

Originally published at Salt Ink and now appears in the published collection Indelible Fingerprints.

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