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.


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