17 and 37

couldn’t see what was there to see
coming over and sitting on the couch beside me
no talk of anything else but ego at seventeen
blinded to the idea of ever dying young

poets who long for the darkness, you asked
what’s that all about?
others get to go on ahead dangit
why you? I asked

we promised to avoid routes like Bukowski
or Kerouac or Roethke
tangled vines and undergrowth
and long drives out West at night

couldn’t see you there either–in the aisle
thirty-seven and cleaning other people’s lenses
then came upon you once in a Kroger store
and then the phone call before your funeral

~ May 5, 2015


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