They come wearing relief
and apology, dressed in ragged jeans
or wrinkled khakis. They come
wearing bewilderment and anger
dressed in black T-shirts
and faded dreams.
These young men are suspicious,
now, of everyone, including
themselves. They've tried booze
and marijuana, sex and sleep.
Nothing-not even mother,
especially not mother-can sew up
the fraying edges of their thoughts.
Something has invaded their minds.
Birds have begun to nest on ideas
in trees bare of intention. Thoughts
branch into tangled whispers,
shouts for fertilizer or bug spray.
Words change meanings, demeaning,
From lives of failed perspective,
the stories fall. The young men
look inward and outward at the same time,
walk the narrow bridge medication provides
between worlds. They remind us
we cannot go home again.
We must always walk head on
into the foreign countries of our lives.