"Silent Disco" by Adrian Belmes
this confesses nothing.
it was not I who bought the bottle
or conceived of the idea that we hike
across this last year campus to the
dance that they’re been running poorly
for the past three years.
it was not I who brought you to the bathroom
stall and held your hair up while you laughed,
batted hands away, and slammed your head
against a soap dispenser, filmed it and
distributed the violence to our phones.
this is the power of cheap wine and zero conscience,
the trust we place in surrogates and strangers.
when you are held up in the elevator, I give
your hand my shoulder, take your bag, and
hoist you as we take our leave, not
having spent more than an hour dancing
in that sweaty hall, rank of beer and freely
groping fingers in the lists.
it is time for us to go
steal lemons from a passing yard
and put them in your backpack,
laugh at the sororities, forget the streets we came here on,
and wander this disjointed land of houses, mismatched
with no management.
I signed the warrant of your death with
a plastic lawn chair and a red cup
full of water, pressed into your
hands, pushed past your mouth, and down
below your ribs, into your gut, only to be
brought back to the surface when I’m gone.
you’re a champ, they say,
and I’m the one who’s laughing now.
you’re not my crime,
but I have made you pay.