Justin

Six months before you hanged yourself
We were sitting in the park
Tearing apart yellow leaves between our fingers
And you said, “You shouldn’t date writer’s Lisa, they’re too emotional.”
You ironic bitch

You know you’ve made it hard not to romanticise my youth
You all have, the dead. My grief has calcified into diamonds.
I don’t even really miss you anymore
You died too young for me to know what you would be like now
We would probably be ex-friends with good memories, and no bitterness.

There’s a guy on tv who reminds me of you so much
It makes my chest ache like a cramp in an unused muscle,
Running from my heart to my brain and my memories of you.

I remember us standing on a street corner
checking out hot guys in suits
(All guys in suits are hot when you’re 22)
You explained that you made more money
Than your mother ever did raising you

When we first met you explained that our shit taste in music 
Was because we lived South of the river.
You did everything fliply, but what you meant was:
We were poorer than our friends, 
And were allowed working class tastes.

Claire said she never noticed how alike we were
Until we were in the same room.
We were both cute and little, and knew
Exactly how much we could get away with. 

You once said your test for telling whether a guy was gay
Was getting him drunk and seeing if he hit on you
Like with their defences lowered they would be unable to resist your charms.
You were such a cheeky bitch.

I vividly remember the night we fucked
Because you were too high to sleep.
My eyes were closed and I shrugged in the dark and said ‘sure’
When you asked if I wanted to make out.
Because you would NOT SHUT UP. Seriously. 
But it was fun and I came because, y’know, I was 22 and it was good sex.

At your wake it was clear you’d fucked, like, everyone there.
Even the girls, although most thought you were gay
So it, like, ’surprise!’, but not the rapey kind.
Did you kill yourself so we would remember sex with you forever?
That is so like you. 

I was surprised how good the sex was.
Your touch was gentle and you were small like me,
But hard in all the right places.
OMG shut up already, you’re making me blush.

Nick seemed cool with your abject sluttiness 
That guy was so fucking cool
With his flopping indie hair and his understated hotness
I can’t believe you found the most perfect boy in the middle of a shitty gay club
I can just imagine the two spotlights drawing together
On the only little indie boys in a sea of screaming queens.

Months later I asked Nick, “So are you like, totally fucked up now?”
And he said, “Surprisingly, no.”
I thought I was being refreshingly honest
But I was just being myself.
He’d dated you so I think he understood.
Years later when the love of my life killed himself I thought of Nick 
Maybe I could reconnect and we could start a club.

You became a statistic and that made me mad
You were so much more than that.

Like remember that time Alex threw a glass of wine
In your face
At a river cruise?
That was, like, fucking hilarious.
And he was ‘Bad Alex’ because of that.
He totally knew you called him that, hey.

At your funeral he made everyone a mix tape
of songs that made him think of you
With a little guide to his memories
And it was a little weird, but mostly okay.
Like, you weren’t actually in touch when you died.
But suddenly his unrequited love 
Seemed the perfect tribute

He hooked up with Nick later, you know.
That made sense. They’re still close last I checked.
You would have hated that
But you don’t get a say.

Someone brought a lily to your funeral
Because you liked Morrissey a lot, 
That was back before he said so many awful things.
I think you would still like his music anyway
And argue with Claire about it
Because morality was never your strong suit.

If you hadn’t died we would have drifted
We were starting to anyway
Maybe I would message you when I watched that show 
And say, “You should sue Josh Thomas for copyright, he’s totally stealing your style”

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