Deleting The Dead

His finger hovers over the trashcan,
two pictures selected from twenty-fourteen
He’s thinking hard about the teenage years,
about her, about what she means.

She made headlines in the Gazette, and the
Dispatch, too. Good-looking girl. Nobody knew
why she ended everything on a Sunday afternoon,
while her parents were across town in a motel room.

His first thought when he heard –
I’ll have to go to prom alone-
burned hard in his head. Hotter than pain.
He wished he’d have thought anything else,
but first thoughts bring the greatest shame.

So his finger hovers there, at the ripe old age of twenty-
and every year after, wondering what
the next woman would think, and
wondering if it’s necessary at all
to delete a memory of a lover,
to finally bury a friend.

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