For Gabriel, A Childhood Friend

You lift my chin as if
there’s something under it gathering dust.

And if we move our shoulders like tectonic plates
will our bodies quake or will my heartbeat slow

to a time when I smiled to the moon;
opened my mouth to the howling wind until it was nothing but a black hole
and my hair blew back like streaks of light?

It was low tide and you were nothing
but the warmth of sunbaked sand.

Little girls will pray to the waves: the milky surf
and milky moons with craters like cupped hands.

But I’m older now and we don’t say much.
Still, you know the difference between quiet and sad.

Annie Loucka
Age 15, Grade 10
Bard High School Early College
Gold Key

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