Days we sat in classroom
ffffffffffchairs waiting for night,
half-listening to a lecture
ffffffffffon living dinosaurs, whatever
lived so long, unchanged,
fffffffffffor generations, scaly and bug-eyed,
clawed. I tapped out drum beats
ffffffffffon my knee, counted along
with the clock’s metronome,
ffffffffffdrove home past the old depot,
the train parked outside an exhibit
ffffffffffwe’d visited in first grade.
How quickly the air changes
ffffffffffin the VFW, electric
with a hundred bodies. Children
ffffffffffof tobacco fields, landlocked
children, children of dirty snow.
ffffffffffDavid’s brother bought us
a case of PBR and we drank it
ffffffffffin the parking lot, a few
cheap beers in my gut. Some guy
ffffffffffsells his local zine on a table
in the back, copied at Kinko’s
ffffffffffand stapled in his basement.
House lights down, a little feedback.
ffffffffffThe fresh hum of a guitar
lifted from its case. Everything
ffffffffffseems to vibrate a little,
like in the moments before
ffffffffffa fight. David’s hand
grabs my shoulder for stability
ffffffffffas the music begins—
ffffffffffMy feet don’t touch the floor
for minutes at a time. A man
ffffffffffjumps on my shoulders to meet
a microphone thrust to his mouth.
ffffffffffDavid falls on the floor,
we pick him up. Tomorrow
ffffffffffhe’ll find some excuse
for his busted eyebrow to tell
ffffffffffhis manager at the supermarket.
For now we can live in the now.
ffffffffffChildren of riffs, of blast beats,
wanting to be anyone except ourselves.
ffffffffffBetween bands we go outside
for a smoke. A little blood
ffffffffffruns down next to David’s eye.
We’re covered in sweat,
ffffffffffbreathing hard. Against
the cold night air the smoke
ffffffffffand breath make a small cloud.
David throws his cigarette butt
ffffffffffinto the grass – it cuts across
the haze the way a scream or a note
ffffffffffor a dragonfly, any welcome
disruption, momentarily divides the air.