Intimacy earned or default
often eyed with envy, sometimes spite
children are greedy of parents and grandparent’s favour
men compete with men for unaccompanied company of woman
friendship pretends not to rank
pretends there is no ranking.
By chemistry states of better form and change
seduced or imprisoned by temperature
the twirl of steam
the hostility of ice
temperature’s favour or displeasure.
We were three friends three years into a third decade
forever seemed inevitable
diminished proximity diminished contact – but not warmth
one ritual inviolate
we always moved one another
cars, trailers, muscles, artificial derision of possessions
payment by the one moving
beer and pizza at the Italian place frequented as students.
Human relations can be a Russian novel
cameo in chapter 3 becomes a major character on page 857
the eternal bachelor not the same
evidence of change everywhere
hairstyle, wardrobe, spending
long-standing insignificance become significant
she was moving in …. and they out .
A new home in the fashionable suburb
beer and pizza I said.
“No.”Professionals had been contracted.
A celebration was arranged
quiet sometimes chooses the most inappropriate moments
the party din briefly silent
an innocuous question to the bride-to-be
“this Friday, friends with cars and trailers.”
The almost husband stares at his glass
the bottom intensely interesting
noise swells back
washing our friendship away.