young ‘uns



Because spring, because birth, because aging.


I swore it was just one of those in-between gigs –

a nice fiscal pick-me-up between my English B.A.

and my philosophy post-grad.

But there’s no demand for nattering Nietzscheans, it seems,

so here I remain,

making martyrs of the brats whose hall passes I deny,

and confiscating gum from the ones smarter than me.


In their skinny jeans and gangsta pants

those kids are brewing the next sexual revolution.

The boys – proto-Guevaras –

with middle fingers erected stiff,

fucking authority in the absence of any girl bold enough.


And the girls –

their bodies are still miraculous accidents,

still without seams dividing the end of childhood

from the beginning of self-hatred.

Each incipient breast,

not yet fraught with politics,

is blameless as a monk’s gleaming pate.



For all the catcalls and mash notes

and terroristic exclusion campaigns:

those breasts are still pointy

and those fingers: all the boys

can actually get up.


They’re playing at adulthood –

no, that’s not fair.

They are working at adulthood,

and that is more than I myself can say,

prizing education though I wasted my own

and thumbing my nose at troublemakers

while I drink my own self sane.


Their excuses are mine –

no, better than mine.

“Teacher dear, I am busy

pioneering this clusterfuck that is adolescence.

Please forgive me if my homework gets lost

somewhere between not-quite-wrecking-Dad’s-car

and the thrill of a first orgasm.”


Half-grown but fully alive, they

are striving, as I

confront my own obsolescence.

Maybe that’s why they never meet my eyes:

in them they see themselves

only much more so.


Words and photos by me.


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