I was a little boy kicking flowers
She wore a sundress and bruises on her cheeks
Back then we spent together hours
And I now know it’s the modern me that is weak.
(I had hope then.)
At some point in this game of life you’ll decide you’ve lost enough pieces- you’ve grown up.
The past you doesn’t get to show up,
And even when it’s driven you to throw up…
There are no sick days
There is no vacation
Adulthood was a destination after all.
Life will take your youth in pieces.
Not with minutes but with your mind.
Not with seconds but with stimuli that you can’t unbrand from your brain.
Strain as you might…
You’ll never unlearn nukes. That life can be rendered meaningless.
You’ll never unlearn cluster bombs or sexism.
You’ll never forget slavery.
You won’t worry about cooties youll get tested for Chlamydia.
The girl with the bruises on her cheek won’t play hide and seek any more.
She’ll date the guy you hate and you’ll call her a whore.
That first heartbreak will take a piece of you.
Your heart will rewire itself, it doesn’t need your help.
It will gladly pump blood instead of love.
You’ll learn to stop crying over such simple things, life has far too many horrors in store for that.
And soon enough you’ll be numb to those too.
You won’t know how to feel after your first school shooting.
They’ll tell you it’s OK to grieve.
You’ll receive and offer to pray from an administration that has shown you that guns are more welcome in your school than God is.
You’ll maybe cry.
A month will pass and classes will resume as normal.
The blood stained carpets got switched for tile and for a while you’ll feel OK.
They’ll tell you need to go to college.
The most important thing youll learn is that the career they made you pick at sixteen is a pipe dream…
It doesn’t exist anymore.
You’ll settle for an entry level job with a median income that’s just enough that you don’t need to be saved from poverty by your parents and blame the opposing political parties position for your plentiful problems.
Statistically, you’ll get married and have kids.
You’ll maybe have one or two pieces of that little boy left.
I lost my last piece on a street corner when the girl with bruises on her cheek…
Leaned in my car window and asked what it would take to pay her rent this week.