It all seemed possible then,
laying outside watching the stars, when,
the rest of the campus slept,
sharing our deepest secrets and scars–reworking them from impediments to impetuses–
teasing us out.
We were still so young, and we didn’t know as much as we thought,
but we had so many thoughts …
Thoughts about how the world should be,
and how we would be in it.
(You, a politician fighting the good fight, and I, writing your biography.)
We analyzed everything, from conversations with crushes to the constancy of change,
making sense of the little of life we knew.
We repeatedly played the song Gardens and Graves during our nightly charades,
so adeptly describing the urgency of our lives,
the eagerness to matter,
the restlessness of becoming.
How wild we thought it was,
to just be with the stars, and the music, in the middle of the night,
to experience such a life.
Life! Opening up right in front of us,
trying to live it because we could,
far removed from our contained childhoods.
One night, we detoured to a tattoo parlor,
just for the hell of it (to say we lived!).
You got a panther, of all things, on your ankle.
It excited us, to be more than who we seemed to be,
You, a tatted man, of all things!
The sheer thrill of it.
I think we got it wrong though, my dear friend,
we didn’t know then, what I see so clearly now:
You never had to be more than who you already were.
You were always amazing,
your life always rippling,
simply by existing.
I choose to suspend you here, in the shadows, looking up at the stars, your soul swirling.
Still possible. Still dreaming. Still alive.