Six Degrees of Separation

Six Degrees of Separation

My best friend since 4th grade is Jen
She and I used to drool over him on the bus
Her hair used to be all ponytails
Now she’s got this side bun thing going
Anyways, she swears she knows

Ernie, this kid who used to go to our school
but now he’s in a private school
Saint something-something Catholic all boys’ school
or something like that
Anyway he apparently plays lacrosse for their Freshman team
I didn’t know religious kids liked sports, but
He is pretty sure he once played a game against

Tim who is this senior for some high school up in the mountains
And this kid, Tim, is probably gorgeous, right?
…mountains…lacrosse…?
Anyways, Tim is in an honors physics class with some crazy lab minimum
something like four labs per week
Crazy, huh? I would literally die
Anyways because there’s all these labs he needs a lab partner

Juliette (what were her poor parents thinking?!?)
Jen swears that Ernie swears that Tim was not lying when he said that
This girl, Juliette, didn’t originally grow up in
Whatevertown
And that she’s originally from Los Angeles
or is it Las Vegas?
Some place beginning with “los” or “las”
And she used to take dance classes
No, art classes
Photography?
Anyways some elective at a summer program where they had to have some crazy performance
evening or somethinglikethat
And while she was singing or describing her sculpture or whatever, she met

Cassey, this college girl who was volunteering at the program
And who said that when she was four she was next door neighbors with this family

The Johnsons
and the dad, Edward, was like
college roommates with him or something…
So, yeah… I guess I’ve never actually met him, but you know,
That’s something…right?

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On the Other Hand

On the Other Hand

My dad says, “Be a man – let it go!”
When I burn my thumb on the grill.
He says guys
are supposed to have scars
and bruises –
Makes ‘em tough, he says.
“Suck it up – don’t cry about it!”
He gruffly slaps my shoulder.
On the other hand,
Jenny tells me
“You hold too much in.”
“I don’t know what you’re thinking half the time
I can’t tell what you want.”
While we sit next to each other
In the field
Behind my dad’s garage.

In Love

In Love

“Young love!” they scoff
examining our reality
through a backwards spyglass
but no one ever questions us
when we say it to mom

“What do they know of it?”
they jeer…hilarious!
Misremembering all the times
we’ve heard it at the coffee table,
in the car, or at grandma’s

“Not ready yet…”
downward shaking heads
eye rolls and whispered mockery
and how could we be, right?
We don’t know anything of
trust and concern

“Not the same!” they promise
they insist, fierce eyes
maudlin heart, ignoring
the same words they cried
to people they swore
they’d never become,
a past completely forgotten

“Well, they’ll learn someday…”
they grin condescendingly
pushing us further away
as though we haven’t yet felt
the comfort of a hug
the whisper of a promise
the surprise of a kiss
or the infinite harmony of
“I love you”

The big, bad back row

The big, bad back row

Slick, snickering tricksters with their
brisk quickening fixes and their
risks flickering
insist “time is ticking too slow…”

Whiling their time, riling the aisles, these
piling peeves styling their trials after
compiling files of reliable rivals
smiling and beguiling in the big, bad back row.

Crass rasping and classless asking while
fast acting, these
tactless taskers blast nasty
basking in places nobody goes.

Earning their spurn over burned bridges, they’ve
learned to yearn for their turn;
they subtly adjourn, rarely
returning when anyone knows.

Voices We Hear in the Hall

Voices We Hear in the Hall

It’s hard to believe that you’re perfect
When ev’ryone says that you’re not
And no one could ever feel pretty
When you’re faced with the face that you’ve got

We’re starting to learn the real message –
There’s a fine line between right and wrong;
But we’ve begun to hear distant rumbling
And it’s the bass line of this, our new song.

They tell us, “celebrate diff’rences!”
While they’re out and about fighting wars
And we’re supposed to try to be winners
While they tell us not to keep score

We’re starting to learn the real message –
There’s a fine line between right and wrong;
But we’ve begun to hear distant rumbling
And it’s the bass line of this, our new song.

They’ve forgotten how it’s difficult
To concentrate in class above all
They tell us to keep facing forward
Ignore voices we hear in the hall

What if there’s no multiple choice
For saying it all in my own voice?

I guess we’ll just have to keep trying
To figure it out on our own
Since the massage we hear gets all mixed up
As we navigate this unknown

We’re starting to learn the real message –
There’s a fine line between right and wrong;
But that rumbling has begun taking over
And it’s the bass line of this, our new song.