We meet a boy at the grave of a friend
after one too many funerals.
His stubble is sparse,
because 18-year-old facial hair
hasn’t turned to the daggers of a man.
And he remembers,
with other mourners gathered
how the obituaries always call us artists
To be polite about how tortured we are.
As if art is the only polite way to excuse
The trouble we caused.
Cut to –
We are all alive again and screaming lyrics to a song
proclaiming how no one likes us when we are 23
even though none of us are.
out by a bonfire
and we are young again
in our black v necks
and black jeans
and none of us
Have thought of death.
As a fire roars in front of us.
We pretend we are whole and
In a family that we’ve chosen.
A warm spring day
and we each hug one another
all of us alive
Because surrender is easy
when you don’t know what the war is like.
We didn’t know that every moment of suffering
Was just the basic training to a longer battle.
That seems so far away.
And today no addict died.
because today no addict died.
because yesterday no addict died.
And we are all free in ways we
have never felt before.
The sirens are far away.
Because this movie was never about the death,
but the life in this moment
Because each day we see each other again
and for this moment we are breathless in
of all the things we can become
God lives on the lips of everyone
and He tells you
For the first time –
You are forgiven.
And if no one else
will have you
Andy Markert is an internationally trained poet and performer living in Seattle, Washington. He can be found regularly at the Nuyorican Poets Café, Rain City Slam, and other slam poetry venues. For information on bookings, please contact him on IG at @andymeerkatt.