The Young Man and the Sea, Part Two (c. 2011)


To my left, I caught a glimpse of why, the reasons as plentiful as the stars themselves, exploding into the infinite darkness.

Could the reason be the fists, hurling themselves into the abdomens of those glasses-wearing Negro twentysomethings? Looking to steal that common sense and four-hundred dollars. Waving their guns this way and that with their fingers on the trigger, but too smart to squeeze.

Could the reason be the madness in the hallways? Drifting in and out of personal space and disposition. Reciting the lines of playwrights before he and before she. Looking to paint our generation with black and blues. Red recklessness and lavender lust.

Could the reason be the downward market trend of the economy? Sucking in and dragging down all the jobs with it like a metaphorical black hole. A massive giant, supported by the empty physicality of nothingness and represented by a dim green zero on the screen, made up of dots, made up of zeroes and ones. Constructed by the technological wizards of today’s reality.

Could the reason be death and the Devil’s right hand? Taking away our grandfathers, who hold with them the smoke on their breath and the sweat on their brow, the sawdust on their fingertips, the suppers in their hungry stomachs. The scowls of displeasure that helped shape us into the men and women we are today.

Could the reason be that status update? That told you to dress this way, and smoke this “herbal medicine,” and kiss that boy, or fuck that girl, who hung out with that group of cool kids, who really were what they thought they were: shit.

Could the reason be the recent string of break-ins? Where they took your earrings and necklaces and your flat screen televisions and your touch screen laptops. Your autobiographical novel, which mentioned that night you were wasted with your friends, arguing over tight pants and the location of wallets, or keys, or whatever it was.

Could the reason be rain storms and tornadoes? That showered us in confusion and disappointment. Made us wonder about the importance of our lives, wonder about God and prayer and wanting what it is you want most, and, most of all: tests, not studied for.

Could the reason be arguments involving twin sisters and twin brothers? Provoking cinematic expeditions that end in accusations accusing instigators of instigating. Coughing out reasons why not to brave the cold November air and avoiding she and she and she for he; for me?

Could the reason be sea, air, and landlords? Demanding payment in order to use their spaces. Accumulating debt in the name of adulthood, all at their leisure. Their deep voices trying to soothe the fatherless, only to fail, and fall, into a ‘70s era haze of thick smoke and mustaches.

Could the reason be little hearts on Phillips Drive? Watching what they do, knowing the lord is listening as they listen to the black keys that unlock the lionesses and lions in their hearts.

Could the reason be chilling winds in southern cities? Hollowing out the young men who crave the emotional stabilities of their grandfathers and young wives, only to be filled with tears, doubt, regret, and hatred. Making their homes within the cages of their insanity, although unhinged, and setting them free.


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