Applauding the Fool
You graduated in black like you were going to a funeral
and no one told you that you were - that this is it -
this is rebirth and you're all grown up.
There are bright things ahead of you
and remembering to shake the crumbs out of the toaster
every once in a while.
No one told you life would be so dull
or that beer only tastes good in front of boys.
You can already tell where you'll get wrinkles later on
the little crinkles in your forehead
and it's becoming blindingly clear that you aren't immortal
and that you aren't quite as clever
as you always thought you were.
Maybe God is more that just an idea
because He certainly wasn't yours
and reading the Bible before bed isn't doing what you thought it would.
The drunk girl in the mirror isn't you
but it was definitely you
out on the docks
who smoked that oversweet cigarette which made you feel ill.
Maybe happy is only something that exists in retrospect.
It's spring but there's no sun
and in fact the weather is fading the world like jeans
even the little yellow flowers are pallid and wilting.
Maybe it's you that's wilting.
You're only nineteen but maybe you've lost it already
and have nothing left to give.
Maybe you've already surrendered to banality
and it's swallowing you
up up up
because your life is running very crookedly
alongside the straight bright path
you pretended it would be.