AdolescentDesertification.

the poems

navel gazing

i don’t know why i do the things i do

graveyardgirl

your world is so big yet so small

all the leaves i missed

ignorant boy, beautiful girl

thank you america for anesthesia

bare foot

broken lawnmower

Reforestation

prelude

this is what youth must figure out…

E. B. White

this is what youth must figure out
not full of loathing
at rotten fruit, heads down
over analyzing in bowed insanity /
wild in actuality. this
is what youth must figure out

AdolescentDesertification.

i don’t know why i do the things i do

draw with an eraser
     and erase with pencil lead
put the glasses away
     and start reading at the end
shut the spigot off
     and water gardens with no plants
look people in the teeth
     when shaking their left hand
crack the shells in the pan
     and throw the yolks away

scramble eggs
     with a knife
wash the pan
     with faucet off
eat the shells
     without a plate

pin up these rhymes
     on clothes lines to dry
these are the things i do
     and don’t know why

graveyardgirl

rising from graves at dusk
shadows dull sharpgrass bladesand snuff out sun’s lastfootprintsas she whirls on the imprints left
until worried mother on porch
calls her back
downthe hilldancing on graves at dusk
she snaps flowers
from stemsand weaves garlands to drape
on headsas herbaceous halos of petals
until lengthening shadow’s tendrils
drives her back
downthe hillto scraping chair legs on floors
and forks on plates
while seasons ripen
— until then, the tendrils wait

your world is so big yet so small

your world is so big
you can’t see the end of your street
every rustling leaf startles
and makes you turn around
from fence lines you never even reached

your world is so small
you can’t see where trees touch the sky
every bone in your mouth rattles
when climbing the first limbs
even though you’re only six feet high

your world is so big
yet so small
and you haven’t even left the street

all the leaves i missed

the tree’s shadow edges sharpen into
its parts and leaves my eyes baptized is not
cliché when all I saw were forest but think
of all the leaves I missed without concave
lens; it wasn’t all bad in a softer
world not yet broken by itself when seen
at age thirteen is not the best of years
and if trouble arrives in threes, glasses
became the fourth after metal studded
my teeth but failed to break the trinity
of woes now so small I wonder how they
blotted Damascus’ light, a miscarriage
of sight ignored on top of dresser wood
without a leaf but what was that to me.

ignorant boy, beautiful girl

| or, you’re only sixteen |

he’s an ignorant boy
he said he would try
in his back turned away
back into his mind bomb shelter
there is shy in his eyes
he is only sixteen
he said he would do it again
again and crumple away
he thinks it’s too late to try
are there enough chances
because he’s sixteen
and what is sixteen?
holding keys that will melt
he’s an ignorant boy

she’s a beautiful girl
she sees hesitation
when she tosses her braids
playing it cools but she sees
there is smoke in the air
and she’s only a girl
she watches as he burns
games are foolish anway
she thinks it’s too late to love
before she’s twenty in four?
and she’s sixteen
but kids setting fires
as soon as it turns summer
she’s a beautiful girl

thank you america for anesthesia

you walk around like Sisyphus
when in actualityyou talk aloud like Narcissus
shouldering boulders just the right size
for the perfect feeling of brooding
a type of meditation for self-improving
to discover           somethingas if you’re an onion peeling yourself
only to end in tears

if regret is clothesyou overdress

you are into spirituality
when in actualityyou’re infinite matryoshki
dolls nested inside dolls
only to discover a new doll
and post it           on the internetas if finding a critically endangered insect
which is more interesting
than you backpacking to find your soul
extinct in the wild

if reflection is a drug
you overdose

you are on a hunt for yourselfwhen in actuality you don’t read the books on your shelf
about how your soul cannot be split up
like Tom Riddle’s Horcruxes broken up
that happened to be scattered tolocations           on your bucket listonly to stay inside because the view
is not bad in a ten by twelve bathroomsnapping photos of mirrors

if loathing is a trendyou overhype

you look up to stars for guidancewhen in actualityyou dig in mud to find Bacchus
while living in aseptic white housesbased off tv roomswith minimal arrangements to make up
for materialistic derangement
displayed in vertical galleries but
that shiplap has already sailed. thank youAmerica           for anesthesia

my toes grovel in dusty leaves
to find cool dirt pulsing beneath
with negatives grounded from my own feet

if earth is but a peach
the crust is just the skin

of others refuse           reused           packed down
living third days as field carpets
or forest mat now insulated
from soles rubber lined pining for touch

maybe that’s why it’s hard to wipe
tear stains off smudged smiles

broken lawnmower

sun
water
grass

here, the sun rains
and the grass rises to meet it
an inch a day if I marked
a ruler like the kitchen door frame
but we were not like grass
cut down only to come back
despite the weekend rusty blades
cutting clearance on life with numbers
choose one: one, two, three, four

sun
water
grass

still, the sun rains
and the grass rises to meet it
while the machine with blades
dead in the yard gets washed
in its final resting spot

sun
water
grass

epilogue

Reforestation

I found an oasis of trees
A barrage to the noise
Of modern society
And there between the shade and light
I found you whispering to creatures
Invisible to my sight but you said
Open your eyes and see
See all that you have been missing
Hidden behind the mirage
Of asphalt and concrete
And we sat in a clearing to listen
And nothing else
Not to find ourselves because
We were not lost, or at least, you were not
But we listened to find sounds
Of lost songs no one remembers
Sounds we missed but strained to here
To reforest our minds
There among the trees
In downtown off Main Street
To the drone of cars and passing feet

the end.

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