Wake for my youth so far (i hope)

and the next clock reminds me that in eight months of living in this apartment i have yet to clean my fridge
and the next clock reminds me that the older i get the less i grow my beard out and that one is surprisingly sad
the next clock tells me tonight i should relax and watch kendrick lamar videos
and the next clock irks me to paint paintings any time i try to close my eyes to sleep.

the next clock is you, naked at the foot of the bed, crawling towards me
yet another clock is you, locked off and silent, no matter what volume i twist my voice to.
yet another clock is america.
yet another clock is my car in the driveway, my debt flooding the basement, the sounds of sirens surrounding my house at one in the morning though i couldn’t be certain what the crime is.
the next clock is death. duh.
the next clock is time and time is a live studio audience laughing. they are laughing and laughing though i don’t get the impression any of this is funny to them. though i don’t get the impression they are enjoying themselves, or that they are here for any reason but to be an ethereal railroad tie, punched through my railroad.

and lately i don’t get the impression this gets easier.
i do get the impression that one’s dreams change over the course of any given lifetime.
sometimes in revelation. sometimes through Reality, as Reality kicks our asses at ping pong, and then proceeds to literally kick our asses. and then proceeds to give us the beautiful painful distinct privilege of watching our parents get older.

the next clock is me, and it’s a very large clock. i can see myself in its glass. the image is changing. for me, it’s like a roulette wheel spinning through different versions of myself, upon which i can impart varying levels of love.
the next clock is Christmas, because even the worst of Christians can’t deter me from loving the heart of winter, two exits after the solstice. even the worst of Christians can’t deter me from finding sonic joy in the temperance of warm alcohol and family. whatever family may be. don’t cage in your limitations on love. do you hear me?

the clock ticks like an atom bomb. i shed my skin like a snake. i drive the bus to school. i turn in my homework on time. i kiss the girl, on the neck, in the car. i pull out the praying bar and i sit and i pray to a wooden ceiling.

dear wooden ceiling, allow me to not get too wrapped up in this algebra. allow me to magically know when the pizza is done cooking. let me roller skate with death during the couple’s song. dear wooden ceiling, shield me. dear wooden ceiling, allow me to know the difference between surrender and defeat. may i lay with lions and come out their king. let me lay with a woman who humbles me. chase off the ghosts, this isn’t pac-man, but it’s pretty close. illusory fruit and maze. like a bible story.

dear wooden ceiling, when i die make me a clock with no hands. paint my wings in something heavier than feathers. kiss me warm. wrap me in velvet until i miss the sandpaper. until i wake up, and i wake up, and wake up, i wake up, wake up, wake up.

 

Author: brice maiurro

Denver poet. Author of Stupid Flowers, out now through Punch Drunk Press.

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