|Pic from Chernobyl Revisited|
My dad gave me money for my birthday,
to celebrate with my friends.
We promptly went to the park downtown,
bought some weed and alcohol,
and got really wasted.
There weren't many people around,
as the day was cold,
and something good was on TV.
Dad happened to walk by the park in the evening and see us.
It was a windy autumn day and the deep purple of twilight found us scattered around the park like leaves.
George was on top of a lamppost,
trying to break its glass with the spear of a crusty leaf.
Jack was kneeling in front of a tree,
by a pile of vomit,
cutting himself with a rusted pocket knife,
and thinking whether he'd slip into a coma because of blood loss
or too much alcohol in his blood;
vaguely considering whether to make a big deal out of it
and call the others.
John, Matt, Laura, and Nikita were still on and around the bench,
a cluster of shadows,
still passing around a joint and a vodka bottle,
trapped in a crucial but already forgotten argument,
yellow, whispering leaves coming out of their mouths into the wind.
I stumbled toward my dad and shrugged at him,
feeling a bit ashamed.
This wasn't much of a party,
There was no cake, no balloons, no confetti, no singing and dancing,
My dad tried to cover the chaos with the cement of his gentle smile,
but I saw a black memory bleed from the corner of his eye,
and I inhaled its stench of rot.
It was about my childhood,
growing up in the countryside,
and playing hide and seek in our back yard,
by the wooden electricity pole,
with the other buried fetuses.