Under the streetlight where campus is deserted,
parking lots tucked in for the night,
he senses he’s been duped.
The tired, timid teardrop, the jaded lethargic
self-awareness under empty spotlight
addresses shadows in silence.
Curling climbing cigarette draught
beams like a whispering bush.
In spite of warm air, his nose
and fingers have numbed up again.
The precursor of resolve is pushed back so far
as avoids inexplicable defeat.
The cresting breath of a brother’s car is a timely rescue.
As curtains close on unnoticed stars,
he’s forwarded on wheels of newfound friends.
Tentative-clutch adulthood is a shifting chariot
for the tribe of invincible memes.
Young men in need of telling secrets
of innocence and fear
do not invite revealing things,
when things to hide become equally true.
He trembles with longing for passion
for fighting words, to
Broadcast that HE IS a failed State
that he seeks asylum to betray his own orders.
He has to be the only one now facing the grave.
He laughs with wild eyes
shaken like a spicy suspension
adding his savory slice
to the communal
Then he prays
with clicking mitral valve
not be as hazardous as it feels,
that faith which doesn’t turn back time
nor vanquish demons
imperceptibly cobble him again
like a house gnome
night after shame-denying night
as long as it takes,
and that money won’t be a problem.
Each of them will be alone on the dark side of campus
paralyzed like the deer in headlights
hoping soon to be caught up by tribesmen
and hidden away from the spotlight on their fates.
By Vicki V. Jones