Gray Fleece

It was a gray fleece 

In the early morning, 

Making coffee, 

Sitting on your dock, 

Brown slats filled with splinters, but we always had an old beach towel.


It was a zip-up, 


I remember you wearing it 

As you ran up and down the green field, 

My white dog running beside you, 

Laughing your head off, 

In the dreary Sunday morning 

While the waves and the ocean perfected the view. 


You would be wearing that gray fleece, 

Said it was your dad’s or something, 

Picking me up in your car, 

Screaming to ABBA,

Exhilarated as you turned to me, taking your eyes off the road, 

Taking the turns to fast, 

In your mom’s Subaru.


Your hair was always in a braid, 

You were usually in track pants, 

On walks you’d carry your Nalgene 


Wearing that old fleece, 

Jumping from coffee shop to coffee shop, 

Discussing issues, 

Growing older. 


I don’t know who you are anymore, 

Off in Queens, 

Taking the train to Montreal every weekend,  

Curling your hair, 

Wearing jeans, 

Discarded your fleece for tight flowery tops; 

It’s almost like that girl I knew 

Never existed. 

You’re sharper now, narrower, colder.


Where’d she go? 

I can’t just discard her the way you did. 

What happened to the girl who burned crepes in her mom’s kitchen, 

Played volleyball in my backyard, 

Would crouch down to say hi to my dog? 

Did you lose her 

Somewhere in a frat party in Queens? 

Did you leave her in Vancouver, 

Drown her in the ocean? 

Did you drown our friendship in the Soju bottles, 

Leave it on the park bench at the reservoir,

Discard it on the train to Queens?


I bought a burgundy fleece today, 


It’s not gray, it’s not my dad’s, it’s not us 

But it reminds me of those rainy gray days, 

Smells like coffee and wet wooden boards, 

I bought it with someone who sings along to country songs, 

Who doesn’t have a license, 

But it feels like we’re taking the corners too fast, 

Makes me giddy like you used to.

It’s not the same, 

Not as deep, 

But this fleece, 

It’s just as soft as yours, 

So at least I still get to keep a piece of you, 

Instead of burning the memories. 


This silly little burgundy fleece, 

It’s us.

It’s you. 

I’ll never forget you.