By the time daylight’s amusement in our lives has run dry,
and the clouds put their masks back on, I am left with only this,
the neon glow of bar signs. And even they won’t let me inside.
Silly bartender, my curfew belongs to the sunrise splintering
through the shrinkwrapped fog preserving every wakeful cemetery
in this sleeping city. Tell me, have you read the headstones lately?
Life spans shorter than the width of my arms. Balloons, babydolls.
Sorrow tied to a string and tugged away to where buds never open,
and summer fevers on and on. Have you ever watched it die? I am
too young to be young, and too old to not know this. Once, an older
boy reclined in the front seat of his car said for the two years it would
take my body to turn like leaves from girl to woman, he would wait.
But I was not a train that year, too idle for motion sickness. Rather
a yellow apple far enough up the tree to rot without being noticed.