52 Hurts; cycle 2

late night arrived to your high 
school friend’s house, in the evening
of your 16th year. you were floating
from the vodka and
the impossibility of first kiss. 
perhaps his father was just on the back
end of a long evening, the drink turning
his blood from that of singing
to a brooding dissonance. or
maybe he could feel 
the youth returned
to the house, the hum
that comes from teenage boys
and alcohol and
the incandescence of first kiss. possibly
he felt himself so far
from any of the newness that you
and his son were then experiencing, perhaps
he longed for that which he knew
he would never again have: fumbling
new kiss on bright lips, affable 
alcohol in young blood, long
before it grew too large and
set itself to howling. and so
his response to his pain
was to drunk-stumble down
the house stairs to the room in which you
for the night would sleep.
and to wake and accuse and accost and provoke
you and your friend, his son,
who’s sister cried as he and his dad
went from mumbling to shouting to grunting
to bleeding. your friend’s dad cried
on your shoulder that night, soaking
your light gray sweatpants in his sobbing
blood. your friend, quiet and kind 
in the morning’s muted light, let
you borrow a pair of pants,
to avoid explaining to your parents
the stains when you returned home. 

Published by Zak

an intertidal island in an ocean of impermanence.

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