I just swallowed a bowling ball
and it seems so much
like the end of the game,
for I’ve been kicked
off this team.
Yet neither of us knew
the words we said
would descend
toward our bowels
to fill our intestines
with fire.
Words which spawned
viscous enough
to obscure this bond
between friends.
Words far detached
from their referents,
they made arguments
of their own
and distributed
the results
between us.
Perhaps I should feel relieved
as I am now relieved
from my post
of walking on pins
and needless fouls
in these strange shoes
fearful every step
is bound to damage
when words take precedence
and preconceived notions reign.

Yet it doesn’t work that way
for a true friend.
Even the complexity
of the relationship
does not subtract
from its value
or the pain
of fearing
this is the end.
Now I am waiting
in the gutter
watching those things of my friend’s
and others
roll by,
longing to strike
up conversation
once again,
hoping this friendship will be spared.

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