Twenty-Three

Stilted prose and dirty floors
Are all that exist between the doors
Of my mind and of my home,
But I’m tempted to leave them alone.

What right have I to tell them how to be
When I am at the fluid age of twenty-three?
The age of emotion and the flower of youth:
Constantly warring with the iron truth
Of absurdity and the joy of friends
Until the drinks are gone and the talking ends.

The bitter nights of solemn thought;
The bitter-sweet kiss of love sought;
The serendipity of friendship found;
The stoic, solid feeling of the ground
Beneath your feet as you spin the tales
Of loving friendship amidst the empty ales
and liquor bottles from the night’s escapades
Believing life has dealt blessings in spades.

What right do I have to be
So sad and melancholy?

Young but wise beyond my years,
Already immune to most the fears
That keep others awake at night
Despite the fact they’re doing alright.
The envy of many of my peers
Who, despite workshops and endless tears,
Cannot seem to make things work
And wind up as some poor sales clerk.

Stability and fortune are my reward
For spending every night I could afford
Working or studying despite the call
Of friends who are out having a ball,

So tell me how I can justify
A feeling for which I do not qualify?

I have luck and skill both,
The opportunity for growth,
Talent and determination,
Praise and edification
From those who can see just how far
I’ll go and not think it bizarre
That I might have some attribute
or great masterpiece to contribute.

Yet here I am at night’s darkest hour
Wishing I could ignore the nascent power
Of my roiling emotions and troubled thoughts
That tie my gut in non-euclidean knots.
With all the clanging, clamorous noise,
One thought maintains my outward poise:

The moon is so full and bright
While I sit here alone tonight.

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