Crabapples in the Century's Storm by Matthew Milia

You say that you've forgotten
But I know that you're rotten in your sweet little way

Like the crabapples
Themselves like ornaments
Fermented in the suspense
Of their sweet decay

Drinking Shell station wine beneath the Sylvan Lake willow
My prophesied Rebecca on my bike trail and pillow
I still see your cheeks so red in Pontiac summer
The pulverized sidewalk and the racing and the stupor
Or in danger, and the kids using a milk jug for a basketball
I'd risk it all to ask it all, to bask the fall again in splendor

Tracing your rotten spine

Oh, but when you hair was still long
Everything a new song and the heater and the theater
Soiled tights and the nights
Where we touched in standing darkness
The odor was magnetic and we wore it like a harness

My memory is freezing in your dead night winter attic
Evacuated all except for the electric static
Of our bodies sparking on the carpet and the mattress
Something made a tar pit out of what was once a fortress

Who can really say?
Maybe I took that for granted
But somehow my lips never left
Where the back of your neck slanted

Oh, my little wastrel
My sweet lost friend
My piss is in the tendrils
Of your rented house ivy
That ensnares the end
Suspended there 

Like the crabapples
Themselves like ornaments
That's what you said one morning
Looking out the back window of my parents'

Weren't some mornings so fine?

There inside that book I gave you
Maybe there's a line you wrote to remind you or to save you

Pretty "bois" sell shitty ploys
But mark down all they're telling
Catchphrases that vaporize
Within ironic spelling

But now the crabapples are in the century's storm
The World Series is over
And the world's collapsing in its form

I think of all those young names that day on the stones we read
Then cold Arizona Iced Tea when the cemetery scorched us red

Now I am blind to your weekends
The snorting kind of your new friends
But there's a lot where Washtenaw ends that you might recall

I know the way your body bends
In the parked van where still impends
The smoking frozen moment and
The cataclysm of it all

And I know your girlhood diary pens
I read it back to you with tenderness
Inside that summer bed
Across your mother's hall

Did I die inside the cleanse
Of blinding-sun Lake Huron lens
Where we were perfect?—that depends
It's all just sand and squall

Do you still hum when night descends?
I thought it was your calmness then
But it's your motor panicking
With the animals trapped in your wall

All the boys that you fucked over
Eventually got out of Ann Arbor
Honey, how come you're still stuck behind
The counter?

The streets we used to take
The cracking of the lake
I'll never get that final point
You were barely even trying to make

Appears on Sitcom Afterlife