The train was pulling to Kandy, stopping at every insignificant town uphill.
At each tunnel the boys would hang their lungs out the windows like paper bags, and scream.
Two compartments downwind, I wonder what they look like;
the shrill voice between the hoarse ones must have a face like mine-
angled, hard-pointed against things that could potentially hurt.
The others must have round eyes polished with wicked boyishness
like the severe gleam in kitten eyes – recklessly pointless;
challenging every wise old man word that history ever recorded.
Their time, their best cast out the window, over the edge of substance, dipping dangerously into the meaningless
– just like that, deliciously luxurious.
I remember an old March,
maybe nineteen ninety nine’s;
We snuck out of math and rode the school garbage cart in rounds
– in glorious, mindless circles all around the clock’s noon turn.
Even the sun and the trees shone and shook frivolous.
But at some point, the grand end of it all creeps up your throat, into your head;
through the body aches, skin beginning to sag or the white wisdom threads
you hear earth’s sad moaning mortal quakes.
So, you slowly stop breathing for the fear of tipping over the edge.
And happiness, what can it do? It’s like that person everyone talks about, but in bed you find them overrated and drunk.
Isn’t it a strange thing that, to really relish in something, you mustn’t actually love it?
Because the fear of death can suffocate your nerve ends from celebrating.
They scream again, the young fucks.
So, scream boys, scream
because immortality is a now or never thing.
Soon, you’ll be too heavy to hang so loose out in the wind,
and your shoulders will be crack down with the weight of Kandy city
to scream your throat dry to just tease the world’s meaning.
Scream boys scream;
scream loud, scream now.
Image – Joseph Ball