I think I see you sometimes.
Across the room
in a smile that curls up just the left corner of a mouth
or in the way some girl’s hair hangs long down her back-
disappearing around a corner.
I remember that your favourite colour was green,
but you looked better in blue.
I remember your first boyfriend’s name and that girl who picked on you.
Mostly I remember how you always did the right thing.
How noble you were.
Then I tell myself the story about how you didn’t die.
Instead you made some deal.
Some deal that lets you live a different life.
Away from all of us
and what we needed you to be.
Maybe it’s a life where you let a cigarette
dangle from your fingers like a question.
You paint your nails red and
hang out late in bars
picking up beautiful strangers
just because you can.
all the wrong things,
but you don’t get sick.
In this life you did all the right things.
In this life they got you anyway.