To Deepthi

Although she a freshman when I was a junior, Deepthi was my closest friend in my senior year of undergraduate and, honestly, was more of a functional adult than I was at the time, so I jokingly called her my “big brother.” After undergraduate, while I was in graduate school, she went through a very hard period, but she is doing much better now and, unlike me, has a PhD.

“To Deepthi”
July 2018, in Catonsville, Maryland

I still remember that silly frosh,
whom I met while she stood on one leg.
I still remember that dinner in Kellogg,
back when we both thought we loved physics.
I still remember you dragging me out of my shell,
and making me see more of LA.
And I still remember the futures we thought we saw,
so close and clear, before the storm-clouds came.

I’m not quite sure, to be honest,
exactly when it was we broke.
I’m not quite sure what the last straws were,
though we both know the general causes.
I’m not quite sure how we survived,
the pains we never foresaw.
And I’m not quite sure I could have survived,
if you hadn’t kept telling me so.

I still remember the shame I felt,
when I realized I’d trusted a monster.
I still remember the pain I felt,
when I realized what she had done.
I still remember the grief I felt,
when I was sure we’d lost you.
And I still remember the joy I felt,
when I realized you had survived.

I’m not quite sure how we became,
whatever we are today.
I’m not quite sure what pain we needed,
and what we might have done without.
I’m not quite sure what gods to thank,
for the fact that we still have each other.
But I am quite sure of this one thing:
how thankful I am to call you my brother.