i always seem to find myself on railings

like the time we were at the beach
salt spray shivering against the balcony
and we smoked half a pack
leaning against that railing
while you sipped corona from the bottle
and i thought you were so cute
but that same half pack
which i could have discarded
at that very moment
to replace the smoking filter in my mouth
with the taste of your tongue

and fate may have decided for me
but my pack fell onto the beach underneath us
i didn't taste you that day
but we became friends
and when we finished dinner
surely enough that small red box
and all its contents sat silently
waiting for me
by dogs
and beach bums alike

we walked on the beach with no shoes
and with every step i wondered what
it would have felt like
to be that small red box
to step just over the edge
feeling weightless only momentarily
before falling into the warm bed
of soft north carolina sand below

would i be misused by all manner of passersby
by dogs
and beach bums alike?
or would i wait silently for my counterpart
ready to be plucked from the shore
and hoisted back
into the small pocket on your breast
which i came to call home
and after falling often enough
would i only become an empty container
no longer fit to be retrieved?

i remember when you left
to find love
all of your friends wishing you luck
i, barely knowing you,
could only do the same
and reassure all of my well wishing
with hugs and soft words

i hoped from the depths of my heart
that all would be well
and maybe you wouldn't return
but it would be enough
to know that you'd found a purpose
to your journey
and that she could make you happy
as happy as i wished i could
when i saw you sipping corona
and stepping on the beach

you would send an occasional message
when you were gone
and few words were spoken
but i knew that things were going well
that you would be at peace
and your sour heart
would once again be sweet
when you told tales of couch surfing
i dreamed the swells
were so large
and their depth so inviting
that each time you rode into one
on your little love seat
you could win
all the gold medals in the world
in the heart of the girl
that stole yours

i remember the time
when i forgave you
after your journey had come to a close
and i leaned against the rail
playing all the songs i thought were written
just for me
and fell into your breast pocket
which i came to call home
filling it with tears
and feeling that salt spray
one more time

all you could muster to say
was that you knew what it was like
to cry for someone
cry for the thought of losing them
and to know that they felt nothing
when you filled their breast pocket
and their shoes
with all the oceans
that could possibly spring forth
from the depths of your eyes
and i knew you didn't care
but we remained friends

and i remember the time
outside of your apartment
when you told me you ******** her
and surely that shouldn't
drive me to think about
what i thought about before

but when i dropped my cigarette off the rail
sure as you are likely to ask
"can i bum one?"
we reminisced
about the time when my pack fell over the edge
and i thought
second story wouldn't kill me
only my pride would be hurt

so of course i retrieved my smoke
and gave you yours
and we remained friends
and i can only ask...


and maybe now all that's left
is an empty container
a little red box
where people put all of their pain
where they expect it never to return from
and this little red box
will never again be hoisted up
never again find a breast pocket to call home
feel the salt spray
or the love of a close friend
but should it ever be retrieved
i feel that it should be called
pandora's box
and whosoever should open it
will feel all of its pain and regret
reflected in their little red heart
and toss it away

i only hope she isn't the one to find it