13 Piercings & Still Not Punctured

Youth, how wonderful to sit with you
in the cafeteria, you make Shiva
look like an amputee. I like this jelly,
I say, how they left in the seeds.
Yeah! You pop, and the fact that it’s flying
at such high speed! Youth, to be with you
is to drive the interstate without a windshield.
No wonder you can hardly stay in your clothes
and therefore wear almost none. I doubt
it’s possible there’s a death’s head
under all the phosphorescent flesh
glued over an antigravitational fuselage
sponge-side down. Even in the classroom,
you’re alpine skiing, spectacular wipeouts
even reading Wordsworth: proof he smoked
dope, plagiarized Tennyson, his dependence
on recollection really on forgetting.
Youth, your brain is more hand grenade
than a stack of scholastic slugs, tattoo
barbed wire circles your bicep, eighth notes
home in on your honeyed crotch, even
your barrette shouts, Get out of my way!
How is possible for you to fall apart
every hour and still hop up for curtain calls?
Youth, I remember when I was always late
because I had so much time. You were waiting
then you hurried on.

– Dean Young

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