It’s dark and I don’t feel
at all well and my mother
will soon arrive to take me
home and the overripe aroma
of the hedges with the tiny
white flowers is making me
want to throw up but I’m
not alone because a fellow
my first friend who is a boy,
has left the camp sleepover
to wait with me, this smart
boy with big hands and nose
and a cracking adenoidal voice
who doesn’t yet know
that he will grow into
something very close
to handsomeness,
who doesn’t yet know
that his engineer father will break
the family apart and leave him
in pieces too sharp
to glue back into a semblance
of the boy he is right now,
sitting out the promise
of camp songs and sugar
and maybe kissing
to keep me company,
and whenever a car approaches
he guesses the make
from the engine sounds
and almost every time
he gets it wrong and I ache
for both of us
and neither of us knows
that one summer a decade
hence, flush with young
adulthood and our own wheels,
we’ll have sex, a lot of it,
in his mother’s condo
with the vertical blinds
and the wall-to-wall
carpet and that then I will
never hear from him again
and though the smell
of those tiny white flowers
almost fifty years later
fills me with longing
for all we’ve lost
I don’t need him back
in my life, I just want
to know if he’s OK.