Men 'til Illness

In our psyches there’ll
always be us,
seventeen year old at heart,
adjusting to imposed status
quos of
falling apart.

Open blouse in the backseat reeks
of the body heat I’ve lost
but your
floral scent lingers.

Darling, these
were the years I was
sent through
the ringer.

If I could point fingers at a single root cause,
the pause between
its pieces would result
in a paradox.

If I could sum up the loss, I’d keep
it my glove box like
a gun
or a love note,
because there will always
be days I don’t know
which of the two
it’s supposed
to be.

On schedule
to be a man until
I was over ruled;

my ambition parked
in a Chevy outside
the local
high school,

emergency brake enabled in
a world recovery
is a fable.

We were never the cool kids, yeah,
but I became colder than they
ever were.

Dropout in theory but that system
never heard me




12 thoughts on “Men 'til Illness

  1. I once heard someone say, “If you scratch an adult you get to a middle schooler.” This reminded me of that quote. How true, that we always carry our old selves with us, that those high school cars and bodies and insecurities and longings are always behind the surface. Great content and great form!


  2. The Innocent #1

    There, at the rock, the innocent stands waiting
    for what she’s not sure, but she knows the
    man she once dreamed of could not be out
    fishing until two in the morning, nor could her
    busy parents be lured away from the fields by
    the promise of money, nor her dreams fulfilled
    in the rice paddy, nor will some Batman, half
    hero, half millionaire show up, nor will wearing
    a yellow, pleated mini-skirt and pumps attract
    the type of guy she wants to spend the rest of her
    life with. She doesn’t see a salamander popping
    its head up above a fallen leaf. She hears the owl
    call his hunting call instead. Fog dampens night.
    She can’t explain why she knows this is the place
    she is meant to wait. She can’t relax or even sit
    without the pain of growth spurts ruining her
    yearning. No hikers present themselves, no slow
    moving conversations, so she marches back down
    to her lonely room, sits reading by a new lamp,
    listens to her parents snoring, fully aware of time.


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