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.