Tag Archives: manatee river

Jeremy 

You were the only one who seemed
to give a shit that I was new
even though in Florida almost everyone
is a transplant at some point
we looked similar in that we were both
tall, skinny, white but darker skinned
with short dark hair
I remember your baggy polo shirt
& skinny scene skater jeans
I could see you probably never
brushed your teeth
you were grimy
hence where you got your nickname
I thought it was so gross you’d wipe
your cigarette ashes all over your jeans
here I am almost 15 years later
wiping joint ashes into my shirt
the last time I saw you it was evident
that the tables had turned
it makes sense, you two have been together
probably like six years now
you’ve been tamed
you’re not hanging out of my car window
doing 120 down the interstate
or throwing quarters
causing a suburban to do a perfect 180
come charging at us full speed
it was a straight up high speed pursuit
you cracked its windshield & we tore
thru peoples yards leaving two long trails
of mud in our wake
we could have died then too or worse
I hid in someones yard but he found us
ripped out his badge said he was a cop
but nothing ever happened
nothing ever did despite it all
I don’t think I was yet aware
of how traumatized I was
your dad was shot & killed
when you were younger though
so I bet you at least had some idea
I have a lot of stark memories
from our friendship, feeling like
I had a brother
you getting so pissed off
I can’t even remember why
throwing your glass bong
& it sticking out of the wall
unbroken just to spite you
rednecks want to get drunk
off Milwaukee’s best at the river
get territorial & start fights
we’d be smoking blunts freestyling
to some beats about how dumb they are
flooring it in reverse in these fields
where the roads ended
spinning round & round
one of those
waterfront developments
built a five story tower on the Manatee
downriver from where I lived
I don’t regret kayaking there at night
shitfaced & on a mission
or during a wildfire with smoke so thick
the sun was just an orange dot
even you who smokes like a chimney
still to this day couldn’t stand it
we went down also ’cause they saw us
we were long gone with the white noise
of the boggy water before they could do anything
besides—what would they do
tell us we couldn’t do
what we’d already done
try to snap our pics
on their flip phones
from the window
of their white escalade
you got a bad ankle
but you still skate
I can hear Panda Bear singing
got to do
what you’ve got to do
what you’ve got to do
what you’ve got to do
what






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