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We wake up at two or three years
of age on a path we did not choose.
We have a deck of cards, some rules,
understand words like “no” and
“are you hungry?”

We are five and watch Dad’s drink
sparkle, gold and clinky his ice
melting osmosis and condensation
making everything wet and alluring.

You pitch for and get a sip.

Hustle and bustle, you understand
more and more, lo and behold the
whole crew is heading for the door.

“Star Wars” is playing, it’s a movie
and I’ve heard people talking about
it. I’m not really sure what it is, but I
want to go… because everyone else
is going—

The buzz, the happening, War is not
questioned, killing okay, this is the world
into which I was born, I woke up sought
cap guns and superhero costumes soon

Clove cigarettes the middle school dance,
chasing what was cool. We had it now,
alcohol in bottles this was the end of
unknowns we’d know what to do at night
from here on out—

Easier than vulnerability, than asking a girl
out only to wait and see. This was the tonic
for my ailments, the reason I couldn’t kiss
at the dance, but someday surely I’d get drunk
enough, to be honest enough… to be honest