Skip to main content

For Joe Urzza

By March 24, 2022No Comments

by Cody Winchester

Last spring the kid up the road
died in his closet.
We rode the same yellow bus.
Once I told him to turn down
his cheap black boombox.
Balanced on his shoulder, he
played it heavy and loud.

Even before the rope met
his fine Basque neck,
I could have told you his story.
I never saw it myself, but
we went to the same high school, where
muscles rippled under lettermen’s jackets
and his thin legs walked alone.

I also saw the hard looks of his
father as he walked along
dusty ditch banks. And I
heard all the stories my dad
picked up at the Co-op.
His mother left early and
so did a string of other women.

I wasn’t there when he died.
A one-time cheerleader working at
the gas station told me much later.
It’s so awful, she said, that someone could
kill himself.
And I might have agreed with her, if
she hadn’t been so eager to tell me.