a farewell ritual

 

In Room 308 of the decrepit welfare hotel

he peers out the window

his green eyes rest

on the parade of lost souls below

Mothers on their knees

sons desperate for their fix

fathers swallowing poison

anything to fill the nameless hollow

A tragic ant farm of misfits

desperately scouring the concrete

in search of a diamond

that does not exist

In unforgiving moonlight

his heart crumbles a final time

because these are his comrades

and this is what he has become

my brother sits at the small desk

to prepare his demise

a silver spoon from our mother’s kitchen

and a silk tie from our father’s collection

Taking a deep breath

he makes a courageous decision

to end the haunting pain

and burn the trail of disappointment

Radiant relief embraces him

an oceanic baptism

under a screaming sky

He is finally clean

given

 

southern california summer

the heart of a girl

in the body of a woman.

pondering who i was

in a purple one-piece,

tanned legs in white keds

pedalling a strand cruiser.

 

his parents were out of town,

we’d done everything but.

his high cheekbones

and dashing smile

made me swoon.

he liked my best friend vicki

but settled for me.

placing a can of budweiser

into my trembling hand

he led me to the guest bedroom.

 

he wanted to lose his virginity,

i wanted genuine romance.

i had just seen “endless love”,

but this was no hollywood movie.

this was beige suburbia

and he was a common boy

in knee-high tube socks,

a bowl haircut,

and an erection.

 

it was over in mere minutes,

apparently he hadn’t seen “endless love”.

having achieved his goal

he quickly jumped up

pulled on his corderoy shorts

and raced out of the room

to high-five his friend billy

who must have been there

all along.

 

i hurriedly dressed

and left without so much

as a goodbye.

heading west into the ocean breeze

on my trusty steed,

i pedalled as hard as i could

trying to escape my shame.

tears dried on my temples,

semen dried on my thighs.

 

for years

i believed he was a thief,

that he had stolen from me,

deceived me,

and broke my heart.

but that elevated him

to a level of power

he did not deserve.

 

i gave myself away willingly

to someone i hoped could make me feel whole.

and in doing so,

i broke my own heart.

the heart of a girl.

the woman i have become forgives that girl,

she was just a kid.