They Stare at the Spider on the Ceiling

Twenty years ago
social and media did not slow
dance together. We lived

two blocks apart and wrote
letters to each other—sometimes typed,
sometimes handwritten

on the back
of band flyers. Rode bicycles separately
to meet at civil twilight

beside a bench
on the west side of the lake. Carved
our initials into its weather-softened wood

back. Rain could not erase
the way we believed
we could entwine ourselves

into a protective web
to keep echoes of residual melancholy
at bay. That was the summer I became

precious cargo. I hear you are
a happy man now—and I still refuse
to dust corners or become graffiti.