Thursday, November 19, 2009

poem of the day 11.19.09

never gets better

the thirteen year-old kid
notices that i’ve been wearing
the same gray t-shirt
for two days now.
he tells me that i need
to get a new shirt.

wear two shirts, he says
because he can see my nipples
through this one.

he says that i need to cover up.

his friends laugh
so i ask him what he’s doing
looking at a man’s boobs

and it’s his turn to get laughed at.

i think
it never gets better
it never changes
from childhood to death
the physical imperfections
made manifest
in these contests
in the senseless flyting between people
needed just to get through the day.

i keep on at the kid
ask him if he likes staring
at men’s chests
insinuate that maybe he has
a preference for his own kind.

it’s cruel, i know
i am the adult in this situation
but this little fucker is paying
for all of the fuckers that came before him
the kids on the playground with their dull faces
the girls with their perky tits
and tight little asses
giving their love away
to someone else

this kid is getting almost
thirty years of pent-up shit.

i ask him if he looks at all of the boys
or just me
his friends laugh again
i ask him if he’s always been this way
his friends laugh
i see his smile fade
the cockiness fall away
as his eyes well up with tears
as the years of torment get
stripped away from me.

i get ready to ask him about
the boys in the locker room showers
but then i stop myself
thinking enough is enough.

this isn’t mercy i’m giving to him
but my own suffocating humanity
trying to make it to the light.

we look at each other
until a common ground is reached
our tit for tat finished.

then he and his friends
go their way
and i go mine
resolving never to attack a kid like
that again
and not wake up hungover again tomorrow
for the third straight day
grabbing whatever shirt is laying
on the dirty, wooden floor
on my wife’s side
of the bed.

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