I study his profile picture dated June 27, 2009. Hover over
unfriend. Him dribbling on an unfamiliar court. Surrounded
by unfamiliar people. Cheeks rosy despite dark complexion.
Long, lean arms. Muscular thighs. Hover over unfriend. My
best friend from adolescence. Who I haven’t seen in years.
Haven’t spoken to in years. Hover over unfriend. Who fed
me ball after ball as I posted under the basket in middle school.
Who joined me in singing along with Whoopi’s choir as we
watched Sister Act. Who danced with me to the band fronted
by the short haired, husky voiced singer at the Barrett Hall
on a night we were both girlfriendless. Who heated up
chicken noodle soup and made me choke down Alka-Seltzer
when I was home sick from school. Who gradually receded
after a friend said, “you two boys would be a great couple.”
Hover over unfriend. Who I dreamt of tonight. I was walking
down Main Street in our hometown during a snow squall.
Spotted him plodding ahead. Ran in my heavy boots. Reached
for his basketball-callused fingers. Surprised he didn’t pull
away, but slipped his fingers between mine. Hover over
unfriend. I sit at the bottom of the steps holding my iPad –
the front door before me. My dormant wife and child turn
and turn in their beds as the two of us sit here face to face.
Corey Cook is the author of two chapbooks: Rhododendron in a Time of War (Scars Publications) and What to Do with a Dying Parakeet (Pudding House Publications). His work has appeared in The Aurorean, Ballard Street Poetry Journal, Brevities, Chiron Review, Entelechy International, The Henniker Review, Ibbetson Street, Loch Raven Review, Northern New England Review, Pearl, Plain Spoke, Willard and Maple, and many other publications. He edits The Orange Room Review with his wife, Rachael. They live in Vermont.
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