Bring the OJ

Josh, when living
your best life you are a floodgate,
the last restraint between
us open mouths and feelings
we had never had or have had since.
Until you, we didn’t know the sky
could turn purple, or that our
bruised bodies could be targets
for a kiss—from beneath a mustache,
yes, or from a needle. Thank you
for teaching me to suffer
with company. Thank you
for showing us that together
we can weather even weeks
of rattling at death’s door.
And when you kissed me
you were the first man who touched
my cheek without expecting more.
Even a father looks for reciprocity.
Even a lover thinks a kiss a door.
Only yesterday the four of us
took ecstasy in a stranger’s bed.
We were teenagers willing to die
to feel that kind of love.
You bring the OJ. You keep
our bras and boxers on.
You make the mirror clean
as we dirty up our noses.
But Josh, you opened too far,
you let it all come down.
What is it like to be a feeling
with no body left to open?
How should we know
what we can take without you
holding the flood above the dam?
Tell me where you live
if not above or with us, if not
spilling out onto the ground.

The Atlantic