When I was a boy, swing sets were surfboards and I’d ride them until the beach grew dark and the waters were cold.
The momentum I built was taller than my house, because anything taller lived only in my imagination
Until I saw twin towers look taller than god, but god didn’t seem so tall that day at all
I came home from catholic school and the television filled our house with words in every head
And all I could think to say was “Is there anything else on?” not because I was bored, or I had a problem understanding or didn’t have a heart.
I just wondered if televisions worked the same when they knew people were dying.
Do you think radios know what mayday, mayday means?
Or how the newspapers felt as it slipped its toes in between the words “The Great Titanic Sinks”,
For their sake, if they feel it I hope they remember the feeling of the moon
And I hope they feel the smiles on their faces, and I hope they read the stories about children finding love in bookstores, and I hope they know how to cope because I couldn’t after seeing so much blood.
When I was a boy, I wanted to be an “All aboard man” and I’d conduct overtures on the score sheets of steel rails and electricity through my brainstem.
Sharing cubicles with the reaper, making last calls and leaps into the future
But as I grew, I found out that you couldn’t just be one thing and how quaint it was if I wanted to be everything
And I read Shakespeare and I thought “to be or not to be” was about living
And to be a boy you had to play football and smear the queer at school
And being cool, meant insults and aloofness when all I ever felt was excitement
And as a man, you couldn’t cry
Well these tears, these tears were on my face when I got it
and the red in my eyes, why I don’t know why, you see they used to be dry, and I’d like to comply to your idea of a guy, but I just might imply that I would have to lie.
Well here’s my necktie.
When I was a boy, my first kiss was in a closet and I’d like to say I was gay
Because life would be perfect in some way, but it’s not and to be honest, I don’t even remember her name.
Instead it was under a tree, with a girl named Clarice who grew up to be a painting.
She was the colors of the rainbow, from her head to her foot, a brilliant light,
But in her eyes she couldn’t see because the rest of her was blinding bright.
One day the rainbow began to drip and slide off her, covered in rain without a storm
And there she stood, naked and grey in a Technicolor puddle but her pupils stayed the same
Everyone sees her different since that day, but in her eyes nothing really changed.
It wasn’t a very good kiss anyway.
When I was a boy, I once read of something called love
And I heard it’s something that turns you into librarian
You’ll thumb through troves of torn and tarnished pages
To finally find the book you wanted, today it was a book about snails.
And you’ll take that book and put it in the correct snail section with all of the other snail books.
And in exactly 2 hours and 43 minutes Thomas will take the book, away from its snail family and take it home
And in 2 weeks, 4 days on an OK afternoon, Thomas will bring that book back.
And you will have done all that searching and finding and correctly placing
Only to have to sort through the pile again, but when you find it, at least you found it and that’s more than some can say.