Tara M. Gilbert-Brever


for Julie

Friendship is like a single
Soul split in two to fill two bodies

--Mexican Proverb
We should have been friends
in junior high, during those summers
of 11 through 13, with those necklaces
that lock together
like the hands of small children.

I would have switched from private
to public school,
to be with you and your evil
ways -- your plaid
rolled-up-waist-skirts, your fake
tigerlily and dragon tattoos.

We would have found butts
to light between the tracks,
after school and before
the slow train.  At your house,
we would have sprayed heavy
vanilla to hide the smoke that clung
to our fingerprints like age.

I would have shown you the bones
of the stray my dad shot when I was 10,
and we would have wondered
why it still had ears
and what it had smelled like last July. 
His burial boulders
would have been hard to replace,
they would have had patches of fur
like rough brown moss.

We would have loved
every second of the girls
who stared; we would have painted
our lips red, written the names
of the tall basketball boys
on our palms, then maybe licked
them, tasting ball-point blood
and creased sweat.

We would have been easily solved,
simple as riddles and rhymes.
We would have played like puppies
in my barn on Saturdays, the barn
with the dust that deviled
us, the hay stacked full of needles,
and the hiding mice -- so, so quiet.

I would have let you eat
my secrets like sour fruit,
your teeth me --
stained forever, your tongue
turned into its own universe: 
all your taste-buds feeling barbed
and unripe,
not yet ready to blister and die.

Date of Birth: December 26th, 1977
Location: Wisconsin
Email: Ineedmoses@aol.com
Publications: Eclectica, Primavera, Children, Churches and Daddies, etc.
Other: Assitant Poetry Editor at Eclectica

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