Male - 20 Years Old
So in the town I live, we have a little coffee shop/bakery, and there's a poetry night hosted at it on the second Tuesday of each month. This professor at the local college presides over it usually, and he offers challenges for us to write each month. He's sick now, so a friend of his took up his mantle, but she offered a challenge nontheless. For the month of July, we were asked to write a poem that either included, was based on, or responded to a quote. I was at first going to use a quote from Steinbeck, but then my love for good lyricism got in my way, and being on the giant Andy Hull kick that I have been since The Church of the Good Thief was released, I decided to use one of his lyrics, because it resonated well with happenings in my life. Throughout my life, women have predominantly been my closest friends. Since graduating high school, I've only had two or three close guy friends, and all of us were close and grew to the point we referred to one another as brothers. Our friendships experienced a lot of turbulence in the last year, so I decided to write about that. It seemed to get a good reaction when I read the finished product last week, so I was wondering what y'all would think. I threw a bit more Andy in for the last line because I thought it closed the poem out well.
Me and my brothers, we have tongues sharp as knives
Our skins they wear so many wounds
Holes we punctured in each other
Itís how we remain in each otherís minds.
Oh, my brothers, wonít you take this spade away, from me
I am afraid I have dug far too deep.
Everything I have, and that I am
Is spilling out of my too opened chest!
Iím closing my eyes right here, right now
So that you wonít be afraid to let your hands tremble
When you start to stitch me up.
My brothers, is this really forgiveness?
I can still tell you who you are,
Even if all the mirrors inside of your house
Donít work anymore.
Is this really forgiveness?
Because if I had to bet my every penny,
Iíd guess thereís a village of angry men with torches
Living in silence on the edge of your tongue,
Between all the cracks in your crooked teeth.
They never sleep, never put their lights out
Or with ever-calloused hands set their axes down.
Still every day, I make you sainted in my eyes and
You tell me itís fine,
With your palms still flat against the bits of stone
Youíve spent the last twelve months grinding.
The transfiguration of us from children to men
To what we are now has taken itís toll,
And I still spend part of every day and every night
Trying to think if there could be a reason,
Or if there was a way we could ever go back?
What would we even do, my brothers?
What shall we do now?
Disfigured by shame and addiction,
By poverty and a lack of sleep.
Our twentieth turns around the sun
Have whittled down our souls,
And tarred our very bones.
My brothers, let us spend another night
Eating up the moon to stay warm,
And hoping to chance upon a river where
We may wash our skeletons clean again.
But please, I beg you, do not leave me.
We are brothers you and I,
We are like creatures that come out,
After dusk to play outside,
And nothing should make that change,
Not the wrongs we canít seem to peel off,
Nor the way that our sharp teeth bite.