17 Again

Brynn Saito

Maybe you're in a place I've never been, say Michigan.
It's summer. Poplars throbbing green
all around you. Your good right foot in its tattered sneaker
steadying the 10-speed. And maybe she's a Leo
and she's standing in the driveway
with her breasts like the gospel and her hot gold hoops.
Or maybe she's a cancer, and you're the kid in chemistry
staring out the window and dreaming of a queen.
Writing her a letter in your blue jay mind:
her of the homecoming. Her of the deep thoughts.
Her pale new body keeping safe an old soul
at 17. And didn't you love her.
Didn't you try. Didn't you find her
standing in the driveway on a Tuesday night
beneath a cracked blue dusk when she was perfect
for the last time. Her of the wild. Her
of the father. Her before the tree of life. Before
she was prey. And didn't you love her in your silent way—
listening to everything she could think of to say to you
until her voice made a home for you
and the world went dark.