Broken Promises

My mom reaches over
and pulls my hand
from my mouth
where I chew on
the little flap of skin
along the side of my thumb
since I have no more nails
left to chew on.

An ugly habit.
One i promised Jackson
I would break.

I wonder,
do you have to keep a promise
to a dead person?

Mom holds my hand
in hers as the
music starts to play.

smiling face
appears on the screen
as we hear Eric Clapton's
haunting song
Tears in heaven.

It's not long
before tears in heaven
make their way
to my eyes,
so I close them
for a second.

From out of nowhere,
I'm in his car, by his side.
Music playing.
Windows rolled down.
I kick off my shoes,
put my bare feet on the dashboard
and put my hand in his.

"Never leave me, okay?" I say to him.

"Okey," he tells me.

He squeezes my hand,
like that seals the deal.

My gaze
returns to the
beautiful boy
on the screen
my thumb
to my mouth.

He broke his promise.
I can break mine.


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