It wasn’t like the first time. It never is.
The first time he was a mysterious stranger
with a bike and a sly smile.
He sat in the quiet of our secret concrete tunnel
and told me stories in trade one for another.
He smelled like autumn rain
and sounded like that catchy tune we all sang.
He let me take his favorite baseball cap
instead of his heart,
or maybe right along with it.
I’ll never know.
What I do know is
he shattered my naive heart as gently as he could
but shattered it just the same
with betrayal and sudden lies made truths.
And then he left.
So this time?
This time I’m doing the leaving
because I have to
because if first time Love taught me anything
it taught me how to survive its dying flames
and the loss of a friendship
in the ashes.