"You can't always win, L."
He always says that,
the boy from Ohio with the lopsided grin,
"Sometimes, you just lose..
and that's okay."
Emphasis on the "okay".
Because he knows
that's the one word
I won't hear him say.
He knows this,
because he always says it.
When I tell him,
I don't feel right, where I am.
And it's worked before.
So it should work now,
he thinks to himself.
And perhaps if I were sitting next to him,
like I used to,
in that one room apartment,
in Victorian Village,
I would hear it.
I would hear it,
and it would resonate.
Before he punched me in the arm
and asked if I was done being dramatic,
so we could turn on the game,
because he just got a text that OSU is down by 7,
and he's pretty sure it's because he's not watching..
So I would laugh,
shove him off the couch I got at Goodwill,
and he would grab two more PBRs from my fridge
that only sometimes worked,
and it would be okay.
Because to the sound of him yelling at Braxton Miller
through the tv
like he could actually hear him,
and the hot summer breeze pouring through the open windows,
it made sense.
What he said,
But we're not in that apartment,
and he can't hear how hard my is heart beating
from 700 miles away,
can't see the look on my face
when I tell him I think I'm losing my ******* mind.
Suddenly his voice sounds so far
and so foreign.
And he knows,
he knows it's not working this time
but that's the farthest he ever got
so that's as far as he goes.
And the long pause is deafening.
So in one final act of desperation
he simply says,
"Love you, kid."
And I just say,