He Was Alone When It Happened

It’s so hard,

he said and he
was right — look at him,
there is a visible toll
there, he doesn’t look
at all as he did
back when he made it look

it did not have
to be so. 

Old friend,
as softly as I can
I must say
that there were ways around this
you did not take,
and you know it.

He looks at me.
He thinks he is water worn
and not hammer broken,
pretending to be soft 
and edgeless as if he’d
never once flung himself
onto a stone floor
and cracked, never mind
doing that on the daily
for decades.

I used to know you,
I said. You look
so different now,
iteration of smoke
in a broken mirror. 

You need to tell the truth.
Just acknowledge that
you are your fault. 

It is so hard, 
he repeated, 
looking down.

So hard, he insisted,
his voice already darkening.

So hard, he whispered,
hoping I didn’t hear him, 
knowing I could never agree. 

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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