tired drives through thunderstorms on slick
and narrow roads.
van spinning out on wet leaves, rolling backwards
down a mountain driveway at 4 AM,
heavy with gear, guilt, dreams, fear,
and lack of sleep.
from temporary home to temporary home,
couch to couch,
floor to floor,
doing everything at convenience stores
from sea to shining sea.
pining for things you shouldn’t miss,
don’t deserve to miss,
while people age around you and
bright-eyed hope turns to bleary-eyed desperation.
hundreds of miles away,
she’s too drunk to text me back.
sitting in a chair I’ll sleep on
in a house that isn’t mine,
quiet enough to hear myself from fifteen years ago
tell my mom things like,
“If I never try, how will I ever know?”
now we call our kids to say goodnight
from other kids’ empty beds
in the homes of two-weekends-a-month fathers we call friends.
and you don’t want to be the last to fall asleep
’cause that’s when the silence sneaks in,
broken by the sound of you fifteen years from now
screaming in your head,
“What the fuck are you thinking?
Who lives like that?
By the time you hear this, you’ll be dead.”