How to Convince Kids in

Punk Houses You’re Cool

wake up with splinters
in your puffy cheeks
from the kitchen subflooring
also known colloquially as
             The Bedroom
your legs are less than sturdy
gut full of yesterday’s Mickeys
head of hot coals
and nothing left to burn but the bedsheets


you’ve given up on normalcy
normalcy is dog speak
for bourgeois decadence
you tell yourself;
             you tell your aunt
                          at your nephew’s christening

 

you buy a gun
burn your fingerprints off
             on an electric stove
sell cocaine to the kids
at the local state college


you smoke in airports
and fight often
you drool disdain for ties and khakis
then die
young
never once feeling free from anything
despite all your hollerin’
so you ask for an epitaph
made of dry erase instead of stone
cause freedom only seems to exist in other people’s words
and you have no permanent home

Beholder Magazine 2020