My No. 1

by stephen hastings-king


I remember meeting you many years later.


Once we were young.


You see me as the same despite 400 pounds of plainly not.


I talk to you with a fantasy based on my younger self between us. 


But you look almost the same. 


I remember the electricity in the air, getting lost in familiar places. 


When I remember there is box inside of box. 


When you tell me about the rape I hold your hand. 


Your hand feels the way it once did in mine. 


I have to look away to focus first on the sound of your voice then on the path it describes. 


The party.  The alcohol. The drugs.   The assault.  The violence. 


I remember a distance that came between the saying and the said, the narrowing tonal range of your voice. 


Something in me died.  Then this happened.  Then this happened.   


I cannot remember the story. 


But I remember the whining of the rental car tires against the road. 


Later you wrote me a letter. 


I remember what it looked like but not what it said.