Future Ex-Patriot

By Bryan Way

you and I were supposed to be
the death enemies of Sinatra's
best years.
in cyclical bribery, in the
seeping days and months
that followed:
summer, winter,
summer , winter,
and then summer again.

where did we go wrong?

cardiac arrests on the redline,
speeding through the city
to follow the mountains, to follow
the redline of the skyline, to see
it to its bitter end
buried in the pine trees,

on Macarthur's boulevard, 28,
passing dead dogs lining the snow-stained
streets, ice crimping the rime
of winter, and then spring, and then
summer again.

where did we go wrong?

you're 46 years old.
you were. you're dead now,
you're dead now.
microwave still in the house.
truck still parked out back.
even a bottle left untouched,
even still.

you're 12 years old,
you still love your father,
in the distance
is a dog playing in the street,
the cadillacs passing by.
sixty-five miles an hour.

you don't know what it tastes
like yet.

fall asleep after pissing into
the house plants,
it's summer.

and then it's winter, summer, winter,
and then summer again.

when I was younger I used to write
poems about you.
your sister said "why the fuck would you write
this? this isn't what it's like."

oh yeah?