The official coroner's statement read
Cause of death: near drowning.
But how exactly does an eighteen-year-old
boy who loved Legos and frozen yogurt,
unburdened by the paper thin skin and
aching joints of age
die of a near occurrence?

How does a boy so in love with a girl,
die so quietly?
The sound of my best friend's name on his lips
sounded more like a prayer and I was sure that it wasn't
the flick of the switch that killed him but rather
the water.

We celebrated his life days later and
Her funeral gown looked more like a
Wedding dress.
'Girlfriend' and 'boyfriend' always seemed
like silly words to describe my friends and
soul mates, perhaps a bit contrived.
I'm sure she found solace in the word

I smoothed the crisp, black linen
That adorned my own body-

And embraced each fragile,
Limp necked mourner.

I smiled sadly but
I did not cry.

Though dawn's pink fingers
Stretched lazily across the summer sky
The atmosphere hung
low and heavy in that room.

I wanted so badly to go to her
isn't that what friends do? They help
each other when they are sad but her funeral gown told me
that she was in no place to console anybody.

The twenty-year-old girl-
Pink cheeks, blonde curls-
Grieved like a widow that day.

She looked into my eyes and told me that this would be
the closest thing to a wedding dress that she
would ever wear.

I smiled sadly
But I did not cry.

When it ended
I shrugged off my itchy, black clothes and
Imagined how strange her intricate funeral gown must look,
Draped luxuriously over a chair.

Looking so bridal against so much black.

And I began to wonder if I'd ever be
One of those tight laced bodice girls-
Pearls down the sides
With a flower in my hair and
Anticipation on my breath.

I'd invite my all friends, including one who,
again and again,
refused to accept a plus one invitation

I let the guilt of my possibilities
flush my cheeks and moisten my eyes.
I smiled sadly and, alone at last,
I cried.