You had to be there under parking lights
with cigarette smoke clinging
to your clothes even those
old sneakers you saved up for
before you lost them in the lake
when we went fishing.
The village didn’t work that day
everyone just stayed inside
and looked through blinds
out at the empty town
afraid to utter anything.
The older brother smoking
all that he’s got left and slamming down
his acoustic guitar like a hammer
onto the basement bar his parents built
so they could host the parties for a change.
I want to be on the other side
of a shooting range taunting
the people at their practice
calling heckles behind Kevlar
cold and concrete I have paid
for well ahead of time.
I give up on roller coasters
halfway through the line
cause there just isn’t time
to linger in the places
where they box us in
with nails we pick ourselves
and can’t pry out again.

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