Youth(Wasted)

Youth(Wasted)

A companion to M83’s Saturdays=Youth

I.

I was born 16
into a deepdark forest
painted burntsun orange
speckled fading green.

I(eye) get(s) lost somewhere
in the thickness—
leaves wrap around
branches curl and
grab hold
lifting me
up.

II.

There’s a girl named Kim
who wears thriftstore plaid
and worn-out converse.

She glances awkwardly
into every camera lens
pointed her way.

Her knees knob,
hair hasn’t been
washed in weeks.

When our eyes meet
she mutesmouth
and flashes pantomime—
always a timid
peace sign
and the faintest hint
of a grin

(she is haunting me)

III.

That night
there was nothing
they could do wrong.

Out went the youth(wasted),
searching for salvation
on a Saturday night.

Only one found a few mistakes
and brought them back home
to keep forever
locked away in
a small wooden box that—
to this day
collects dust under a
stack of yellowed yearbooks.

IV.

You could always find her
in the graveyard on old highway 8
envying the dead-
wishing for a stance so stoic.
She sits and writes
mediocre poems about angstydeath.
No one ever wished more
to be the Byronic Hero
in a modern day Romantic epic.
She tries to channel Shelley,
but only finds a dash of Coleridge
then says fuck you to both
and stands up to caress
another stone.

V.

When they danced
they danced until
the early morning hours—
thumping their heels
twirling their bodies
to the
BEAT

long after the drink-to-get-drunks
went to sleep.

When they stopped,
the sun peaked out
and asked for more
so they kept on moving
(rhythms internal
limbs intertwining)
until they drew out all the
colors from the sun
and dashed the sky
in vibrant hues—

to heal the night’s
tender wounds.

VI.

We fly, feed, suck, bleed
need all those things
we never knew we would.

All the little snaps
that seemed like nothing
but turned out to be
everything we wanted.

And now that they’re gone
we flyandfeed on their memory.

We suck the marrow
out of the past
until our mouths bleed.

VII.

Clouds and skies
and kites that fly
and all you want
to do is run—
so you do and it’s
the best thing
you’ve done in your
(otherwise worthless)
life.

It’s coming…
It’s coming on…
It’s coming…
It’s coming on…

And that’s why you run.
You run from it
as fast as you can
because only a fool wouldn’t,
and only a fool thinks
he won’t be caught.

VIII.

BonesBurn
on heatsoaked concrete.
Wind blows sandswirls
up around cars.

Chipped barnhouses flit by
as a farmer waves hi,

but he never sees the face
of the young man
in the driver’s seat—

his eyes trained to the road,
bent forward,
alone.

IX.

Falling…
or was it folded?

like dove’s wings
against a
sky splashed orange?

Into your arms regardless
and with every certainty
that we were right to
fall—
no matter what god
is in charge.

X.

You always thought
that time would oneday
blow out like a waxed candle.

You never imagined what
might happen without
an image to focus on
in the void.

You moved in the dark,
feelings shadowed
intentions bathed in
stark daylight.

You found your way back
somehow even though no
one thought you would,
and you learned a lesson or two,
right?

Or maybe you didn’t.

Either way,
such things
don’t really matter
in the dead of night.

XI.

flick, flick(glimmer)flick, flare…
and the flame lingers
as the clock tics toc right past midnight,
into the next day that no one wants
but all constantly receive.

A few still remain:

the ginger with lips like wilted lilacs—
the skeletonclad heartthrob—
the gangly grifter in thrifstore flannel—
and the bundle of secrets in the corner
(invisible even to the night).

Most have crashed and burnt out
for the time being
but will fade away in the near future.

These four will live on long after
their times are up and their clocks
have struck an icy cool midnight.
They linger on because their skin
is made of vinyl,
clicking endlessly
in the runout groove.
They play on until everyone else
falls asleep
and then,
when no one else can hear—
they stop
and disappear.

razor iconRyan McGinty graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 2010, where he majored in English with a writing emphasis. His work has been published in Eclectic Flash, Dead Flowers, and Firethorne. He won the Lawrence Owen Prize for Poetry in 2010. Ryan is also founder and CEO of Oil Can Marketing LLC – a Minneapolis based web design and internet marketing firm that helps small businesses increase their visibility online. When he’s not working or writing you can usually find him homebrewing a batch of beer. He lives in South Minneapolis with his bride Lauren.

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