Been on a true friendship kick the past few days
since at almost thirty years old, people still feel the need
to tell me, be careful who you choose to call a friend.

Should have asked the title advice guy,
is warmth of the soul beyond anything recently experienced
where I genuinely enjoy the company of another
the first sign of this supposed toxin sinking into me?
Seriously, who am I to judge a person
based off another’s interpretation of hearsay knowledge?

A couple weeks ago, when the girl I was sitting with
got up to use the restroom, another friend approached, saying,
I’ve been sent to cockblock you because that girl’s a bitch!
Oh man, are we dodging bullets here? Much better learning like this
than when I potentially make a move on her
knowing that she knows that I know she has a boyfriend.
Never mind how pleasant our conversation is and always has been.

But today, I face a reminder of a time when a good friend
leaned real hard into wingman mode when I betrayed my secret.
I should have stopped him, but I vastly underestimated
the amount of damage his relentlessness could do.
That girl was becoming a very dear friend, but conversation now
is like a dead sprint race to the periods.
I keep meaning to try and fix that, but I don’t know how.
Meanwhile, the wingman is still telling me what I should be doing.

And it is only now, as I start stitching these stories together
that I see, among all these unwanted actions and advice,
there was only ever one thing worth listening to.
Be careful who you choose to call a friend.