At the School cafe
everything is pleasant.
There's a juice bar by the pool tables
where the jocks hang out
while their girlfriend cheerleaders
give them cheers and smiles
and worship their bodies.
One of the girls hopes
one of the heroes will make it big
in the "game," marry her, run off to New York
or somewhere with a million dollar house
playing favorites to her family back home.
It's just the clicking of her heart
overwhelming her sixteen year old mind.
The boy will never make it past the gate
where the stadium guards meet
to discuss weather reports
and what happened at the local meeting hall.
He's just a dreamer who played
and failed in the college heat.
It's happy hour
kids are drinking flavored coffees in the bistro
pretending they're all knowledgeable discussing
Schopenhauer, Trotsky, Rousseau
and the difference Marx made when
he got inspired by something Jefferson said.
The kids have it confused of course
The social contracts are non-binding
They'll be fortunate to make
it through the school year
working odd jobs at the Bookstore
writing bad essays of the world to come
while their brothers next door burn out
on the next fad of rebukes.
There's a kid at another table with a unibrow
drawing pictures of dillingers and 9 milli meters
and wishing for that fateful day
when blood will soak the sun in
neon covered hazes with comic book style flavor
while mariachi bands lament of Frida Kahlo
and how she bought death a shot of tequila
then broke his heart with a laugh
and a slap in the face.
This is just a fantasy it didn't happen of course.
There are concerns about the kid
counselors worry, police are on standby
his father and mother complain to him
and he tells them all not to worry.
It's just a phase. He removes the sheets
of a Diego Rivera like mural in his parents' garage
to reveal a canvas of the whole class
standing in different poses.
Holding apples with a Gettysburg High smile.
Scores of students pose happily in their prom regalia with an inscription.
We are the future. Forgive us
for we know not what we will do
but we're proud of who we are.
The inscription was written
by his poetic sweetheart.
A red haired girl who writes
about death constantly
but works in a beauty salon.
She's the class valedictorian
but sometimes plays air guitar.
She's down to earth savvy
and as sweet as can be.
Joel L. Young 2003 All Rights Reserved.