"i spy a may queen, you were miles
above me," younger by four years,
so many baby steps ahead,
like on that hike when you flipped out
because i claimed you never did.
both being wrong was our best game,
but practicing left you winded,
even before the hit-and-run.
you condescended for a while,
walking backwards like a tour guide,
facing me - smart, given that face.
i bought your campus and its state,
and soon, though too late, make-up flowers,
each fight more desperately arranged -
you once suspected florists' aid -
all meant as final, as is this.
on the centennial of the quake
no one could hear if dishes shook,
only two slams, room door and car,
dusting our heels - you'd recall whose
turned first - with bursts of paint and rust.
good bodywork was not enough;
even your teeth figured out fast
you needed crowns i couldn't fit.
we were the sweetest sour stuff,
two isotopes of oxygen,
mass numbers 15 and 19,
met at 25, 29.
negative spin and positive,
corrosive like the normal kind,
but much too heavy when combined,
technically, practically, unstable.
physicists keep debating why
this mass in me decays so slow,
despite emitting waves of tears.
is this quantum entanglement?
if so, your heart depends on mine,
no matter time, nor distance squared.
biologists, at least, agree
that you breathe better without me.