a couple kids, bored and rebellious filled
their backpacks with empty bottles,
spent hours breaking
them all through the neighborhood.
they talked about what the glass could do.
there are other kids on the watertower,
they leave xxs on its face.
parents do not understand the meaning.
the kill rooms cassette surfaces,
meets boom-box after boom-box.
kids start talking about reagan. black flag’s
on everyone’s t-shirt. minor threat is back
together. the bad brains are black guys?
henry garfield is no longer his name. at
a party akfd, three songs deep, drunk,
slipping through their set, the bass player
starts spelling out what their name
means. aids kills fags dead.
i don’t want to tell you that kids cheered, or worse, laughed,
repeating the name, and the songs kept going.
noise and feedback.
i don’t want to tell you that
only four kids walked out disgusted.
i don’t want to tell you this.
Joshua Young is the author of When the Wolves Quit: A Play-in-Verse (Gold Wake Press) and To the Chapel of Light (Mud Luscious Press/Nephew), as well as the forthcoming collaboration The Diegesis with Chas Hoppe (Gold Wake Press 2013). He studies poetry in the MFA program at Columbia College Chicago, where he also teaches writing and serves as an editor for the Columbia Poetry Review. He lives in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago with his wife, their son, and their dog. For info about his writing, films, and other projects visit http://thestorythief.tumblr.com.