My never Friend

Lara Zeng

Belmont, Massachusetts

Belmont High School

Poetry

already, in the waning shine of this ephemeral season

i see the absences where they do not exist

now fattening

now so void where this stranger was once light.


i imagine that

her hologram shimmers in the

dusty corners.

they are stacked to her knees in pages

which rustle, gentle and silent, out our doorway.


her turned shoulder, a whisper by

her hair, the

hum of her laughter—

imperceptible

low and steady

—stumble silver down our stairwell.


lying awake now, i swill

my black and lonely theory

listen as her manners, eternally fading,

call me sweet

promise me a lamppost in a city i’ll live

wedge the year between us

into the perfect gap of her empty bed.


who is left now?

in this world i care too little to speak first

while the remnants share a sandwich, sign their names

in this world i watch from the top bunk

paralyzed in my skeleton

ankles trembling in their unemployment.


but awaking, i learn

no emptiness is meant for her, not this time, and

i do not repeat myself.

the years multiply

the trees turn

the remnants and i leave this room.


when she finally arrives through the doorway,

i return her wrinkled smile to her.


after all this time it

wasn't mine to save.

EDITORIAL PRAISE

As they liken the gradual fading of a relationship to the waxing and waning of the seasons, the speaker reveals the subtle, yet transformative nature of the only constant in life—change. This piece reveals the kind of invigorated grief that comes with suffering the loss of something that is still tangible, although emotionally aloof; physically accessible, but spiritually callous. The speaker is unapologetically raw in their description of what it means to lose, to learn, and, perhaps most importantly, to love.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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