Thursday, November 12, 2015

poem of the day 11.12.15


i couldn’t talk to
a fourteen year-old girl to save my life
it’s gotten easier now somewhat
here and safe in my middle age
flipping the pages of her sketch book
drawings of other girls in fashionable clothing
she tells me about egypt
and how she couldn’t go there this summer
because of all of that going on in the middle east
as if we’re both too ashamed to talk about endless war
i don’t know what wars we were fighting in 1988
probably the cola wars
i know i was fighting a hormonal war
fourteen year-old girls in my school
the airbrushed women in my old man’s playboys
every nude scene paused on every video
my left hand won the war of attrition on my penis most days
but now this is nice, i guess
looking through her sketch book
almost fatherly
she says, i’ll bet you’re the same age as my mother
it stings to hear
but in truth i’m probably older
people born in 1988 are almost thirty now
roy orbison has been gone for almost as many years
girls that i was secretly in love with back then
look old and gray and angry on facebook
i wonder what kind of hearts she’s breaking in the here and now
coco skin, red lip gloss
and budding artistic talent she’s happy to show off
there has to be a fourteen year old boy out there
she’s got dangling on a string
dangling on the brink of certain death whenever she’s around
some strung out lovesick kid
who’d give everything to be with her
going through these intricately drawn pages
i know it’s wrong but for a second
i think i have it over this imaginary kid
for a second i feel like i’ve finally won
but what?
if i knew her back in 1988
i’d probably piss myself if she ever said a word to me
when we get to the end of her sketch book
i tell her the drawings look great
she smiles
and i am happy to make her happy in the moment
to give her hope
even though it’ll never make up for missing egypt
i thank the passage of time that i’m
no longer worried what fourteen year-old girls think of me
and when she walks away
i’m just as happy to see her go


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