There lacks a certain poetic justice
in frat boys on a wrap-around porch.
Gabled, pillared, love-seat hammocked,
these keg-chuggers, Greek calling-cards
don’t bless the space the same way
an elderly man, five years widowed,
would, eating a perfectly ripened peach.
Alas, poetry can’t always be fiction
and if I squint I can encrust these
peach fuzz boys in a swath of downy
years, grey hair and sagging skin,
exchange their muscle tees and flip-flops
for suits and outdated loafers. If I
glance just right, I can see bank tellers
and used-car salesmen, years of touch
and go labor and the need to return
to a time when their biggest concern was
which bandana to sport at the American
patriotism-themed football game. These are
boys who will station flags in their front yards
but never serve on the front lines.
They may move far away from this
glaring college town, but they will never
move anywhere different. Their wives
will be Kappa Gamma Mus and serve
Moscow mules in chipped tin mugs
at dinner parties. The boys on the porch
are dreaming of these women, are debating
which one they will ask to the Delta
Gamma Ray formal, as we speak.
They know love never dies, and its ass
looks great in a pair of yoga pants.
They don’t think they will ever be
the men on the porch, inciting poems
about loneliness and years-gone-by. They
see themselves immortal, vampirical, shiny
and whole and always at a reasonable
age to get carded at the bar.
One day they will be watering the front
petunias, tidying the tossed bicycles
and sandcastle buckets in the yard,
cleaning the gutters, and they will look back
to see me, writing these lines, etched
like wood-grain and chipped paint and wrinkles.