Matt Borczon

What they take away
So I’m
arguing
with my
mother
about politics
when she
says stop
getting so
worked up
you will
end up
shooting somebody
I don’t
even own
a gun
I tell
her yes
you do
you got
it in
Afghanistan
I stop
and say
mom
they gave
me gun
in Afghanistan
just like
they gave
me nightmares
about spider
webs across
dead children’s
eyes
they gave
me a
gun like
they gave
me angry
ghosts and
PTSD and
a paycheck
but they
took back
my gun
before
they sent
me back
here never
thinking that
I slept
with it
like the
first stuffed
animal you
ever bought
me like
my first
blanket
like something
you don’t
let go
of until
someone
takes it
away.

Tanya
Was the
new girl
in gym
class bottle
blond hair
almost white
she wore
shorts and
stockings
told me
she had
skipped most
of her
freshman year
just sort
of forgot
to get
on the
bus since
her mom
worked early
and didn’t
know until
the school
sent the
police to
their trailer
she told
me she
was dropping
out as
soon as
she turned
16 in
about a
week which
was good
for me
since their
wouldn’t
be enough
time for
me to
fall in
love.

Band reunion
You laugh
at hair
lines and
waist lines
then count
your kids
jobs divorces
dead parents
and dead
classmates
eventually
you tune
up and
play one
you all
remember
and for
a few
minutes you
do remember
rock and
roll rebellion
young love
and the
police shutting
your practice
down early
you remember
it like
everything else
life taught
you later
Didn’t mean
anything
at all.

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