Golden Boy

They called him Golden boy.
I did not know this,
till I had read it in his memorial.
I did not know this
till his fiance spoke at his funeral.
It was meant to be his wedding.

We grew up together,
in classrooms,playgrounds, hallways, and neighborhoods,
my first crush,
my golden boy.
Shy, I’d wait for him to pass,
see him holding hands, kissing
his high school girl,
the one he would ask to marry,
and my stomach sank like swollen ships,
but vanished like the bermuda triangle, and
flipped as he’d pass by, and say
a quick hello.
My adolescent thumping throat, dry mouth,
I could barely breathe, or speak.
My secret photo, the one
I cut into the shape
of a heart and taped to my wall
like a celebrity from Teenbeat.
Oh, I had thought he was golden.

Four years, after high school,
on a street, I saw his fiance,
drunk, dressed like a nurse,
“we are celebrating, we are getting married,
say hello he is trying on his suit.”
The street had turned to halls
and school bells rang to send us to class,
there it was again, the thump and pit,
my heart sank, again, that young feeling
burned and wallowed in the ocean sand,
there goes my
golden boy, forever,
and I stopped in to see him
fitting in his groom jacket
his smile, bright as always,
“I read you were in a play”
he said,
“It made me proud to know you,”
he said,
and like it did when I was
twelve, thirteen,
fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen,
and yes eighteen,
my heart flipped, olympic
gymnastic leaps, with ribbons connected to sticks, I was Nadia,
maybe someday they would get a
We would be like those stories,
lost true loves from high school,
golden boy and nadia,
nah di ah golden gal,
just the plain gal,
but of course I’d be beautiful in the future,
and he would be handsome,
and she would be moved on,
In life it could be possible.
Who knew what we would be like
at thirty
we were hardly
babies still
though we had no idea.

They called him golden boy
their prize son,
but he could not fly,
and so died
in his brothers arms
at the bottom of a building
one he had been riveting
that is what I heard.

They tossed a football from
convertible to convertible
“we celebrate his life”
his mom yelled,
as she held his fiance’s
hand, and in
a train of cars we
honked on the way to the grave site
and marched his black and gold
casket to the square hole in
the earth, bowed to say goodbye:
Good-bye golden boy,
Good-bye first crush,
Good-bye twenty-five, and thirty,
Good-bye silly fantasy of your
and she cried out,
his bride wailed like
an Irish mother on
the Irish sea
and ran from cemetery before the casket settled.
Her wedding dress,
swung empty in the closet, still
zipped in plastic.

She would wear it later,
but not for our golden boy.

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