The Friend of Your Youth is the only friend you will ever have,
for he does not really see you.
— Robert Penn Warren
let’s calculate the force you put into the ground
before you knew how to skate
how you were a pile of clothes
muffled by gloves and cold
our hands could not rouse you
‘til you reared up, honourable,
cross-hatched into your right cheek and
all the God burned out of you
what a sight:
your mother and father talking about you.
what should be done with you?
you invited us for dinner in your tilted house
the falling water and the wine bottles
someone talked about how smoke would rise clean
off their brother’s limbs when he ran cross-country in winter
and ruined the dew
when you were little you confused,
in fact fused, terrible
and terrific in your mind
and you wreak what you sow
someone picks up a magazine
another asks what even is a human interest story
and the conversation reliably turns
but I’m still thinking about wreak and words that are only ever used one way anymore and feeling sorry for
everything I say I believe
and I’m never right
but I believe everything anyway.
all that to say
all that looked-at must leave a mark on your face