a friend dies,
you don’t know
for months
until checking for
maybe a new number
or change of address 
his obit pops

your direct line direct
to a stoney path
of presence & absence
then his backward flow
to kick all the dope
even beer & cigs

dancing in and out of view
in the heads and tails
of your mind since he came
rolling into 1968 Backwater U.
to get your holy self unholy
& all the way into his backseat
with the Chicago girl of your dreams
until foreplay passed out
in her lap & you woke still holy,
he laughed when you flushed
his pot after a false alarm

motorcycles jobs familes
managed like fine-print contracts
with the usual sorrow  
in all our ages
Mount Loss climbed over 
until you bumped and restuck
when returning to BU
for a “fucking poetry reading”

music his calling card
bringing his band 200 miles
to play your anniversary,
sleepovers here and there,
calls over coffee with little
space between like astronauts
meeting in different orbits

for 200 days
(several missed calls,
messages not returned)
he is still alive to you
vivid and vibrating across
the same sound waves until 
this stunned morning obit:
he was most proud to be his friends’ friend