Age

Age crept up on me like a shadow slinking in
from an open window: light at first,
growing larger and larger as the sun grew
riper and redder behind the treetops
beyond my apartment.

Age did not come like a slam in the vein,
though age hid in the news sent to my phone
that Matt, an old friend of mine,
was found dead one morning by his father
with a needle in his arm

Age does not press into you as a piercing
in your ear might, though it does press into you
in the rough bumps of thrusts you cannot fend off.
Age is numb on a mattress that isn’t yours,
immobilized by the fear of hurting

Age did not catch me off guard when bills were due.
Age did not surprise me with a bouquet of flowers
after losing relatives to the slow curtain of mortality,
descending over numbers of lives like stages
now dark and abandoned forever

No,

Age crept up on me in the voice of someone
three years younger than me. I remember the
acoustics in my voice as I declared how young
and small I felt in the perspective of the world;

afraid of the future, that foggy plain that trails
off to an unseen edge of the world and tips off
into an abyss I couldn’t think hard enough
to plan across

I received a confident reply that shelled me
from my pensive state; a simple reply
that only required five words:
“You’re not a child anymore”

 

This poem is about: 
Me
My family
My community

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