by Dean Young

Dean Young

You shouldn’t have a heart attack
in your 20s. 47 is the perfect time
for a heart attack. Feeding stray shadows
only attracts more shadows. Starve a fever,
shatter a glass house. People often mistake
thirst for hunger so first take a big slurp.
A motorboat is wasted on me even though
all summer the pool was, I didn’t
get in it once. Not in it, not in it
twice. A dollhouse certainly isn’t wasted
on a mouse both in terms of habitation
and rhyme. Always leave yourself time
to get lost. 50 cattle are enough
for a decent dowry but sometimes a larger
gesture is called for like shouting
across the Grand Canyon. Get used to
nothing answering back. Always remember
the great effects of the Tang poets,
the meagerness of their wine, meagerness
of writing supplies. Go ahead, drown
in the moon’s puddle. Contusions
are to be expected and a long wait
in ICU under the muted TVs advertising
miracle knives and spot removers.
How wonderful to be made entirely
of hammered steel! No one knows why
Lee chose to divert his troops to Gettysburg
but all agree it was the turning point
of the Civil War. Your turning point
may be lying crying on the floor.
Get up! The perfect age for being buried
alive in sand is 8 but jumping up 33, alluding
to the resurrection, a powerful motif
in Western art but then go look at the soup cans
and crumpled fenders in the modern wing:
what a relief. Nearly 80% of the denizens
of the deep can produce their own light
but up here, we make our own darkness.

Last updated August 26, 2022