Certain things shouldn’t come between friends,
your letter begins. And by “things,” I believe
you mean copyrighting my musical for yourself
without permission. You’re right. My favorite pop
song says life’s all about friendship. And for two weeks
you played the piano for our performances. Musical

notes are meant to be shared. Apparently, a musical
belongs not just to the writer but to the writer’s friends
who play piano on opening night. Never mind the weeks
it took me to compose. Who, these days, would really believe
that a song costs the writer something? No—grab your pop
can, take a sip, and make some money for yourself

off melodies torn from my now cold hands. But I ask myself,
what happened to the friend who said, This musical
is all about you! And, just think, you can see your work pop
off the stage if you let me play the piano for you. Friends
sometimes change their minds, you’re right. I believe
you changed yours when we ran two sold-out weeks

and grossed $8,000. When I wanted (weeks
later) to put the money in scholarships, you yourself
said, This is your musical, do whatever you believe
is best— But you couldn’t stop shifting. The musical
took backstage while I moved to New York until (thank God for friends)
you moved to Nashville to become a Christian pop

star. Not even Christians wanted your pop
and you got that lean, hungry look working 50-hour weeks
at Starbucks. And you started talking to your friends
who breeze over copyright laws. And you thought to yourself,
I could claim this as my intellectual property since this musical
was played by my hands on those keys. Did you believe

what you said in your certified letter? Because I didn’t believe
you. Your letter said, pop! I’ve prayed about this, and pop!
I’ve never felt more right about anything and pop! a musical
shouldn’t come between Christians. It’s been three weeks
since your letter, and if I could gloss over all this, make myself
forget songs born from sharpest loss because we’re friends,

believe me, I would. The musical would be my godly gift. But I believe
firmly that God and all our friends who listen to Christian pop
will understand when I write back, weeks from now, Go fuck yourself.