Unhappy Birthday

You would have been 51 today.
I would have phoned.
You would have said ‘Hi, Lil!’
We would have chatted,
And laughed, and gossiped.
Hours later,
‘I would have said, ‘Bye, El!’
It would have been so special.
Nobody else would have understood
Our private jokes,
Our childhood fears,
Our secret dreams…
I wouldn’t have written this poem with brine,
If you hadn’t ripped a piece of my heart
When you left.
If you hadn’t been unlawfully killed,
You would have been 51 today.