How Facebook Ruins Legends
by Bryan Borland
Audio Version: Click to hear “How Facebook Ruins Legends”
Eric sends me a friend request
after his parole. He starts calling.
Sixteen. Seventeen times in a row.
When I do not answer, he leaves me
messages saying I have to talk to you;
I have to see you. There is the madness
in his voice that comes from needing
something forbidden. In the middle
of the night, he sends a text message:
Come sneak me out. He means
from the halfway house. He is addict;
I am crystal methamphetamine.
His brother, Michael, cannot spell.
His status updates are simple. They reek
of a straight man, cold beer, deer meat.
The smell of forced bachelorhood.
Where is the confident boy
with the balls to place his hand
on my school-bus riding thigh?
I know what you are, he said then.
Now he announces to the world:
99% DNA match. Guess I’m a daddy.
Joshua does not confirm me,
does not confirm he was my first.
He does not confirm how he
would touch me underneath
the blanket, how he wrote love
letters from Joplin, Missouri.
Yesterday a tornado ate the heart
of the town. Now Joplin
is gone. So is he.
Matt is military. We play
a game of chicken. Neither of us
click Add as Friend. He is Romeo
in army fatigues. I am Juliet
in starched pink shirt. Both believed
the other dead. The past is buried
and grass has grown over its grave.
You wouldn’t know the bones
of something spectacular
rest in peace beneath the dirt
where soldiers march to war.
© Bryan Borland