13 Piercings & Still Not Punctured

Dean Young
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Youth, how wonderful to sit with you
in the cafeteria, you make Shiva
look like an amputee. I like this jelly,
I say, how they left in the seeds.
Yeah! you pop, and in fact it’s flying
at such high speed! Youth, to be with you
is to drive the interstate without a windshield.
No wonder you can hardly stay in your clothes
and therefore wear almost none. I doubt
it’s possible there’s a death’s head
under all that phosphorescent flesh
glued over an anti-gravitational fuselage
sponge-side down. Even in the classroom,
you’re alpine skiing, spectacular wipeouts
even reading Wordsworth: proof he smoked
dope, plagiarized Tennyson, his dependence
on recollection really on forgetting.
Youth, your brain is more hand grenade
than a sack of scholastic slugs, tattoo
barbed wire circles on your bicep, eighth notes
hone in on your honey-ed crotch, even
your barrette shouts, Get out of my way!
How is it possible for you to fall apart
every hour but still hop up for curtain calls?
Youth, I remember when I was always late
because I had so much time.You were waiting
then you hurried on.

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