Sleepless in Wal-Mart
Color Me (A Poem)

At 14 (A Poem)

At 14

my back yard was expanding, like the
universe unfolding, and I was ready to fly
but afraid to fall.  Transport yet a dream, I went

where my feet would take me, and for a while
the earth still turned slowly and the sun might
even stand motionless, quiescent, like the time I

kissed Linda Erzoni on the stoop of my back
porch while the world, all monotone and gray,
fell away and stars lapped the edges of our

nocturnal nova.  She was  Haley hurling through
my space, a cosmic wonder, an uncharted realm,
mercury rising and me hoping all the while that this

sweet intercourse would never end.  So great were the
mysteries of love and loss that that when Mary Mergoles
shut her heart's door for John we could only walk an

hour in the dark and, for the first time, drink beer,
speechless, his life over.  It wasn't.  But he never spoke her
name again, vowing he would not be burned again.  Yet he was.

Behind our facade of certainty, we were stumbling in the dark,
touching a sacred timeless thing, unable to resist the
gravity of desire.  Yet, tortured though I was

something hollow murmured deep inside for
greater things, for lasting love, for communion full
and deep and wide, a eucharist so elusive

at 14.

[It's very strange to think of this poem now.  When it was written 14 years ago, I had no son.  Now I have a 14-year old son, and I am reminded that this age is a confusing one, even difficult.  And yet, many of our experiences are so different.  To really put myself back in that age, I need only put on Joni Mitchell's "Blue" record; dripping with melancholy, it's gauranteed to bring you right down!]

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