We assumed we would be happier by seventeen.
As with most things, we overestimated
then procrastinated, each day becoming an opportunity
to wallow in the blues and anxieties of youth,
youth which we clung to like a shrunken safety blanket
as teachers and neighbors worried about
the moral decline of the new generation.
They were too old to understand
and we too young to give them a chance.
School was a check mark on a to-do list,
suburbia as close to purgatory as any place on earth could be.
In the mornings we woke older than we’d ever been before.
By dusk we crashed, rolling in our youth,
unhurried and unburdened
by that which we did not know.