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Café Philos: an internet café

There’s a boy in you about three
Years old who hasn’t learned a thing for thirty
Thousand years. Sometimes it’s a girl.

This child has to make up its mind
How to save you from death.
He says things like: “Stay home. Avoid elevators. Eat only elk.”

You live with this child but you don’t know it.
You are in the office, yes, but live with this boy
At night. He’s uninformed, but he does want

To save your life. And he has. Because of this boy
You survived a lot. He’s got six big ideas.
Five don’t work. Right now he’s repeating them to you.

Robert Bly

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Boy yearns to burst free
From the suit you wear to smother him
Longing for the day
When your bike was not a vehicle
But any saddle needed
When each tree was a unique challenge
When you ran until you couldn’t
When ice cream on your face was prestige

You know he’s in there
Not transformed into a man
At a desk on the 34th floor
But a boy looking out the window
Wanting to toss a paper airplane to soar

Your fatigue is more
Than can be cured with a weekend hike
Or a night in
You’ve forgotten your father’s smile
And what it meant
At the apex of a swing

The boy remains. He’s there
With the young man and the dreamer
Wondering where the fuck you went
Wondering why you dare pass
So many parks on the way to buy vegetables
And how you can sit still for eight hours
Without even stepping into the sun
Until it sets

He’s the reason you still
Don’t take the direct route
And why a tree unclimbed feels like a loss
Why you smile at fresh-cut grass
And why you still stop for ice cream.

One last cookie thought boy
Couldn’t hurt
Would be just enough
To close tomorrow
Just another bite
But too late
No returns
The center cannot hold
Fullness is breached
Like one piece too many
In a Jenga game played backward
Boy barely makes it
Through mom
Before it all breaks through.

TARDIS must be in the shop
But his red bow-tie shines
Cool
This bumpy ride must be a slow agony
When compared to time travel and
RUN!
Does this make me his companion?
Five rows back without a screwdriver
But totally down to be rescued
I picked the wrong dress
Thinking today was just another Friday
But I’ll put on my cutest
And pretend to be the girl
I wasn’t born to be
But I know I must be at my best
And full of spunk and snark
And just enough smarts not to threaten
To be more than invisible.

A tired ship lists at anchor
Each sinew of timber twists to stretch
Wind rips and tries to tear her down
While rigging whips to resist.

Jib peers, mast bends to glance to
Harbor where a drunken crew revels.
Each deck board creaks as the body
Nearly breaks beneath her weight

Salt leaves a sore sheen below
Where barnacles feast
Where waves lick aching planks
Where the body bathes to rest.

At the grocery store

tending children’s mouths

loud with hunger and an urge

to reclaim the wild

stolen by this trip for food.

Transaction failed.

Transaction failed.

Insufficient funds.

Declined. Move along ma’am.

The line won’t break

for you. Draw the line

between what you need

and what you need today.

Hope for a break

and a new line tomorrow.

You don’t know me,

I even held up your day,

but you found me

and drew a line to

cross off what was crossed out.