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On Turning Eighteen
The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I’m swimming in a river of lightning,
much worse than any thunderstorm,
a kind of pneumonia of the spirit,
herpes of the psyche,
a disfigured blind eye of the soul.
At fourteen, I was an Italian wizard.
I could make myself melt
by drinking a glass of potions.
At seven, I was a lieutenant, and at nine a surfer.
But now I am mostly at the door
watching the bright night sky.
Back then it never fell so forcefully
against the side of a weak tree,
and the chair never leaned against my bedroom
as it does now,
all the dark, red, powder swept out of it.
This is the beginning of loneliness, I say to myself
as I crawl through the big, black world
on my swollen knees.
It is time to say goodbye to the fantasies
that make me whole.
It is time to turn the first chaotic number.
It seems only yesterday I used to assume
there was nothing under my heart but flashlights.
If they burnt out, I would still glow
but now when I fall into the dark, depths of the ocean,
I drown. I suffocate.