teenaging (updated)


teenaging is when the neighborhood seemed most alive
those days were once spirited and bright,
minutes and seconds passed like hours, and even
the afterlife beyond age twelve had frightened us
from our irresistible capacity for curiosity,
and so i stood atop the roof during daylight,
with my self-abandoned friends and cousins
when there was homework due,
screaming anxiously to be wild and free
for unbelievable causes we’d heard on tv
or read online during bookish weekdays,
or developed as a function of being that age,
the brick walls we created at thirteen collapsed
when we were sixteen and we craved maturity,
the night goaded us, looming dangerously above the blacktop
adolescence brightened the same scenery we’d despise later
the lonely cause of labor brought temporary pain and power
the kind i remember each today and tomorrow
during the era of self-sufficiency
teenaging is when you’re an adult searching for some nostalgic solace
the kind you can’t escape from and seek as a formality
in my dreams it’s the utopian rooftop from the aughts
and the friends and cousins of previous decades together
the ones who joined me in parading down the cul de sac
teenaging is when you’re faceless at thirty in the playground
and you’re waiting for innocence to reappear,
beyond solitary imagination
i remember teenaging because it managed
an unhealthy balance of bliss and sorrow
exposed by suburban parental guidance,
the kind you’d ignore and lambast til the sun fell
and dwell on and suffer from til it rose again
teenaging is when you’re nothing but leaves in a hurricane,
the same storm that grows and grows each year.
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