is being younger than our parents but older than children. We
like to pride ourselves on knowing how we feel. Dad says Real
life lives paycheck to paycheck. Mom says If you play it cool,
don’t be surprised when you catch a cold. Believe me, we
drank the Kool-Aid too. Whittle your ego til nothing’s left.
Dad says Real life doesn’t care what you learned in school.
I say Real life is a lock in a sock to the back of the head. We
have to make our own kind of fun where we can. We lurk
where basslines rattle our bones. Eye bent fenders. Late
at night, our television hums its infomercial song. We
hope you are satisfied with your experience. A three strike
policy is two strikes too many, but at least I swing straight.
Own what you steal – if you think you deserve it. We
hyenas have to settle for bones and closing shifts. I sing
scavenger songs to anyone who’ll listen. If you sin,
will it show up on your transcript? Instead of sand, we
bury our heads in bourbon. We get fat then worn thin
as shoe heels. We get lit and lose our grins to gin.
You hide a promise in your mouth like a razor. We
punch the clock til it punches us back. Run your jazz
mouth and count your quarters for laundry day. June
arrives with scissors, cuts the sleeves off our shirts. We
phone our parents from bathroom stalls, saying Don’t die
before I’ve made something of myself. I’ll be home soon.