We remember too much.
We forget too little.
We let the little things count
more than ourselves.

We need too often
what we only had
when we were young.
Then, the naïve face
smiling back at us
in the bathroom mirror.
The band-aid smoothed on;
big sister kisses the pain

Beginning each day this same way.
Shoelaces tied.
Collars down.
Belt buckled.
All of this—
done for us.

I remember
there had been some time
that had gone by
before I looked closely enough,
the tiny hairs clung from holes
in my father’s arm. And the veins
on his legs— so ugly and green,
as he went down the escalator
in front of me.

How had I not noticed this, before?

Then, looking at my own body—
The freckles. The pores.
Where had they been, before?
And each day from then on,
they only seemed to grow
Bulging, red,
and on display for the world.

To become THAT adult.
To have THESE things thrust on me.
These terrible sprouts of hair
in embarrassing places. Sex, too—
the expectation and stress of it
seemed miserable as visiting the doctor,
pulling down my pants—
and having her big long instrument
shot into my ass,
while my throat throbbed
and mommy held my hand.

It all seemed so much. Too much.
I didn’t understand why more third graders
didn’t try
hanging themselves from jump ropes
tied to pear trees.

But now, looking in the mirror;
To be THAT adult, today.
Seeing the scar above my left eye;
The hairy mole upon my neck;
The skin beside my finger nails;
Peeled; The dried blood of worry.
I am glad that the branch had broke.
I, like my father, have come to know
the pleasures
too much. I just wish I could forget
a little more than I do.
Start over. Forget it.
Shave off all the stubble
and sleep on it for a week.

One day, I will die.
One day, I will die.
One day, I will die.
Believing this;
Confronting this;
Repeating this;
How can you still
sit there
and not
get up?
Do something, son of a bitch.
Do something.

The things you know you need to do
will not be done for you, anymore.
The works are there and waiting.
You know and I know all that is
are shoes tied, collars down, and belt buckled.

Come on.
Forget it.
Your life
and the centuries that came before.
History and the myths.
The morning news.
Traffic jams.
Six-day rain.
Forget it all.
Start over.
Get up.
Get up.
Get up.

Quit your job. Quit your life. Quit listening
to what others are telling you is important.
Stop talking about tomorrow.
You will now and forever
only be capable of today.
Do something, son of a bitch. NOW,
for yourself.

You, who have just woken up.
The blinds pulled open.
The coffee, hot, in your cup;
Blacker than night and stronger than day.
If that morning sun can’t move you, now—
how could you ever expect poetry to?

written on 10/15/2011 by: Matt Kane