childhood: the frailest thing we all fling.
a memory catalog, except all is symbolic.
divine sweet metaphorical moments and spirit-
biting bald sadnesses.
the only thing for which you can express
your dislike by saying it doesn’t exist.
never a dull moment.
there had to be,
but who remembers.
your childhood sat on a swing one day
and nothing much happened.
no bullies hurling a small body bloody akimbo.
no reaching treetops with sneaker-clad kicking feet.
why recall that when your adulthood
demands an archetype
of impermanence, of longing?
so many thousand leg-pumps away
no kid on a swing is JUST a kid on a swing.
by 22 we’ve forgotten
how to leave anything to itself.
my childhood played with bugs,
favored the word “grody” over “gross.”
how many times did your childhood skin her knee?
how many times the scab only a scab?
did she eat it?
poked at tender dermises,
made a game of not letting a cut heal.
what metaphor there?
vote now on your phones.
this is the bored curiosity to which i’ll assign
all the relevance I wish was stored
in laundry days, direct deposits
(a kind of magic that makes my money a ghost)
or that time the boy you crushed so hard on
felt you up on a church pew
while two other youth groupers
hid, heard you slurp, pant,
confess virginity –
the ridicule a ritual,
you’ll later determine,
to prepare you for what adult thing?
almost any. from political convictions
to full-time employment
what if some shiny announcer
popped up shitgrinning at each
ambivalent spot in your young life,
snapped, “remember kids,
this might mean something someday!”
would anything change?
would that girl you were,
skeakerfooted and scratched somewhere
stiffen and drag her leg muscles to a stop
or just swing anyway?