See that kid in a Lynyrd Skynyrd t-shirt?
He’s got a dozen more –
AC/DC, Metallica, Pink Floyd –
crafted by Honduran children,
purchased with plastic at the mall.
Not you. You made me phone the radio station a thousand times,
never the hundred and first caller.
So we camped on the sidewalk instead,
in line all night for the Second Helping
tour with babysitting money and half a summer’s
worth of mowed lawns crammed in our pockets.
This kid never delivered car parts to buy
, didn’t grow his hair out for a year,
wrangle with his father for the right to look Van Zant.
The holes in his jeans come pre-ripped –
not from dumping his Honda on a slick street
after a bold attempt to clear the tracks
just in time to beat the train.
What’s hidden there, just inside this
What crumbling heart? What splintered future
stresses at its seams, threatens to tear it wide open?
You kept your own secret collections – Valium stash,
loop of rope, the .25, two bullets – as well as I hid
my first 8-tracks in the dark part of my closet.
A green room hums with air conditioners
running full speed. It’s March.
The stainless steel table must have been cold
under your bare flesh. I stare, willing
your eyes to open, wait awhile for a grin to crack
your waxy face, am surprised when it doesn’t.
In the corner, a cardboard box: your wallet,
keys, belt, greasy Levi’s, leather workboots,
and a crumpled t-shirt slashed down the front.
I lift it from its box