The Way I Can't Breathe When I Think of You

by Yvonne Amey

There’s a cold, northern dry I can’t feel this far south.
Morrissey is singing about a double bus death.
I can’t remember if you were dead then but I think
you weren’t which makes it worse because I left you alone
at the 9:30 Club without directions home in a city that wore black
because it knew something terrible lived in it.
We stage dive to The Circle Jerks.
Our DC was just a place to smoke crack or get shot.
And that has made all the difference today we say to the mirror.
I wish I had known how forgotten Chuck felt when he jumped from his college dorm.
Back then we were mutant & held bullhorns in fields to warn deer.
Not much has changed except for the way the sun never sleeps in Florida.
How everyone we love and hate are stuck in a place so beautiful and backwards.
How it eats up darkness and people like something raw and alive.
Even now when it gets dark this early I can almost hear Chuck’s body as it lands.

Yvonne Amey is a poet and educator living in Central Florida. Her poetry has appeared in Tin House and numerous other literary journals.