Boys, Boys, Boys

Boys will be boys, I guess.

That’s what we all said to ourselves

as we brushed off the leaves, pulled up the panties, pulled down the dress,

wandering through sunlit trees,

holding hands with the forever ones,

the ones who were always meant to be.


We are seventeen years old

and the wedding is already planned,

we are the lucky ones, we are told.

No more searching, no more nervous dates,

At 2am, we are not alone.

Youth be damned, we can’t wait.


Boys will be boys, I know.

That’s what we all said to ourselves

Mid-afternoon in the kitchen, making a show

of dancing barefoot around hands that don’t ask

Being held to our place, and then it comes,

Swift, quick, sharp, it comes, the tears take their places, down comes the mask.


We were born in the trenches, hiding long after the war was done,

Now we emerge, and the first man we see is our savior.

The gun is pointing the wrong way, but we don’t run.

He comes bearing freedom, a flag planted.

The Fatherland gives all

We take what has been granted.


Boys will be boys, I am sure.

That’s what we all said to ourselves

that night we were thinking of her

or him, or they, or anyone else, but this.

His third time tonight, but he needs it, so over we go,

Staring blankly at the pillow, hoping for a kiss.


Years later, the kiss never comes,

it’s all hands and groin.

There is something pulling us up and away, but we are dumb,

dumb to the sounds of escape,

watching our futures on their death march,

complacent, mouths agape.


Boys will be boys, I believe.

That’s what we all said to ourselves

that day we began to grieve,

that day that our hair was all wrong, walking in straight lines,

waiting for the wine to wear off, to remember ourselves again.

For the first time, he is not mine.


He is left behind, no longer inside,

now exposed to the white lights, forced out in the exodus of wine.

Looking down from the cool, metal rails on which we sit astride,

we laugh at what once forced itself in.

Hand on the back, we are grinning, letting it go in heaves, in heaves,

Looking up it is finished. We enter the whirring, dizzying din.


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