turnstile youth

by Steven J. Serafiani

warm rays we basked
rolled around in primary colors
unwarranted smiles thrived
young legs ran
lungs full of breath
imagination vibrant
not piddling towards death
there was no end to think of
or to question
just curiously engaged
everything touched or gazed-
new.

to the stairwell
to raze, down
pink hands rotate cold steel and grow wrinkled
step into the sterile mode of travel
packed with the slow burn of fellow crooked necks
where piss and graffiti fill every corner
fill every thought
fill the dumpsters
and they brim with
suits and vacation hours and affairs and stacks of mail and cynicism and liquor bottles and dark thoughts and sadness and envy
and
crassness
and vulgarity
and
bear markets
and stress ball squeezes
and
waiting rooms and
fornicating
and superstitions and bigotry and
jewelry and
therapists
and wallowing
and vitriol and fear and loneliness and politics
and
addictions and
inanimate objects and
missteps and regret
and–

I weep when I remember the
memories of my youth;
the flash and brilliance of
my turnstile youth.

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