Your mother never liked me

she could tell what kind I was.

But you liked me.

Well enough to steal…

sweet pink mounds of bubble gum-flavored ice cream

just for me

when you worked the shift alone

And when the shop was empty…

to suffer my cigarette-tongued kisses

in a dark corner 

beside the pastel blink and glare 

of the Pac Man machine 

To hand me a wallet-sized copy of your junior year portrait

with a ball-point message

penned in block letters:

“To an excitable girl…”

You were a fine young man.

You had your head on straight.

You were destined for success.

I heard you made Eagle Scout.

How proud your mother must have been.

My mother thought you were such a nice boy.

That’s how I knew we’d never last.