Decades

X.
Reckoning with solid rules.

Having reached the point where the years seem to hold
A constancy and by the end of which
Adulthood blooms over the horizon,
Relish the way letters form the same each time
You sign initials, your self.

Who?
You.
Shrugging off sudden autumns,
Questioning unreachable flights,
Admitting guises you cannot take.

Yet ecstatic: how things balance out
At least into certainty
Because you grasp the names for things,
What they might become,
What you might not.

XX.
Where you try on new selves like clothes.

Expectation is a fairy godmother
Who disappoints, going AWOL, shirking her duties.
What, did you believe that maps were more than suggestions?
Or that smiles could not become obsolete?

When you could have been burning time
Years took on more solitude than solace,
Fields rolled out of view,
Acres emptied themselves into the wind.

XXX.
Where you climb the monolith.

In the accumulation of milestones and markers,
Still you might make a break from it,
For the unseen and unmet refuses to taper off
Unless the past is always revisiting us.

Speaking doesn’t make it so,
Nor does wanting, hoping, yearning
Or relenting.

Out strolling and talking, years back,
Between roses and summer, dividing possibility
Into intervals of life. Born under a comet,
Reminder of how long the journey,
How patient a return.

Popcorn

Here’s where I see blisters in the air,
when hunched over the popcorn machine
the kernels whizzing like lawnmower seeds, frenzied,
it was summer, short in tooth, long in smile
and their skin burst now,
only you realised that it had reached
its white-faced end in minutes,
that growth of time,
pushing pain until then,
the irony of release.

In that long youth of night,
when minutes might well be
the strange, unseasoned cousins of days,
adolescent in turning themselves over,
this is the machine, conductor:
heat, darkness, pressure,
treading down their soles
as the trek turns.