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Calling Our Youth

Andrew Patrie

We buzz from the barroom
and feel the earth’s spin
in every sidewalk step
western wildfires
tint our downtown moon
the yellow of a smoker’s fingers
so we catch our breath

No Trespassing
yet we are bold enough tonight
to slip petal-thin
through the fencework
walk along building rooftops
raise our arms
in nocturnal blossom

Each autumnal gust
grasps and splays
your hair like a raven sun
rising behind your head
you catch me looking
and say, “Do something selfish”
I lean in, kiss your lips
you laugh, “Doesn’t count”

The drive to your house
never long enough
still the tires
and while your parents sleep
we kill the engine and talk
beneath the porch light’s blaze
our conversation recorded
on steamed windows
words coming countless
and random as the stars
I watch you wish
while I finger-write
your name on the glass

Andrew Patrie teaches English language, literature, and creative writing at North High School in Eau Claire, Wisconsin where he lives with his wife and son. He writes for Volume One Magazine and the underground Polish heavy metal ‘zine Burning Abyss. "Calling Our Youth" is from his new book, Half Life and is reprinted by permission of the author.

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