For Patrick

By Christopher Caldwell

On overcast days I think of you.
You and me and youth and the ocean.
What a lovely quartet we made.
I loved you then.
And you never understood the winter in my eyes.
The salt of the water, the salt of our sweat, the salt of my years
Flavored our days in the sun.
Fire-touched and reddened you whispered to me of warmth
But you never understood the winter in my eyes.
We said our goodbyes, you promised to write
You did. I got your first letter two days after Easter
I carried my terrible secret like a plastic lunchbox.
I was in love with the fire of your smile
The warmth of your gaze
The summer in your eyes
Time has danced with all of us since then,
And the summer in your eyes has long ago faded.
And you now speak of snowstorms.
I remember the sunburned boy with the red, red lips
Who never understood the winter in my eyes.

Christopher Caldwell is a twenty-year old sometimes student in the Los Angeles area. He can be reached at ccaldwel@oxy.edu.

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