If words existed in youth
I would not say my skin looks gray
Or that words ever fail me
Through corridors and gnarled woods
I recoil in an eldritch sun
Saguaro shrieks as the pine sheds
Needles in the dust.
We look ahead to messy beds
Credit cards shrouded by myopia
She peels away pills on her sweater
Gliding through the forlorn fields
I never knew as a kid.
Spent my time, room to room
Flickering screens painted me
Waiting for the next nostalgic bit
Of life to wander through backyards
Clear caterpillars in opaque jars.
Velveteen and sharp as hell
Its cracked shell gushing
Crawling up the street, wincing
Slower than the bikes and breeze
Never fast enough,
Always last to make the bend.
Hanging in a fickle ficus,
I blend in here with hibiscus.
Goodbye, goodbye, it flutters
The gutters coughing up water
Veins of amber leaves glisten
Flooded, a folly of man’s nature
It drags me in, where life begins
And where my skin looks silver
But my hands and mouth — tar.
I don’t want comfort,
I want immature pain —
A young body dancing the Americana,
Forging a trail of nostalgia.
I want a heart that burns,
A beacon in a whirlwind of
Erratic emotions, spontaneous acts of
A lovely girl with an ugly soul
Is what they’ll call me.
I’ll embrace it, because life is long,
And death is debatable.
It kills me, but it will fade
As I splurge, procure, acquire, more, more, more,
Give in to senseless, sensitive whims,
Destroying everything, mending
“Numb, callous, careless kid” —
I’ll laugh it off.
I have years to grow wiser,
But only minutes to flicker youth
As its roaring blaze simmers down.
So today’s not the day, the hour not the hour.
I will look past the peril
In favor of reckless abandon and therapy.
I will parade my expenses,
Squander my money, get it back,
Fall in love, wreck it with ethereal anger,
Fall in mutual mercy,
Maintain it with aging desperation,
And watch as they bloom into the waste.
I will die.
Luminescence is a state of mind,
A brain bathed in floodlights.
The plane takes off, a small world left below.
Thoughts run rampant, head held high.
To say that I’m enlightened —
A logical fallacy,
To realize I am equal
As I revel in heightened perception.
Contact Andrea Platten at [email protected]