it is midnight on prom night
and here we stand shivering
on a street in atlanta—
pinned curls and jackets askew,
a strange testament
to old-school glamour and urban decline.

we are flanked by drooping adults
who are tired and sore
but obligated to stay,
perching on cold stone ledges
and hard granite walls
as we await our ride back to the real world.

and when it comes, the dizzy swirl of neon lights
lulls us into a state of infinite fatigue
and i wonder if it is enough to make us forget
what this night has been
and what it has not.
(it is not.)

at dawn, the sun is greeted by a sea
of nocturnal blooms of color spilled out on the floor,
and secrets traded over shots of indiscretion
we've been allowed to indulge in, for
just this once, until the next time
we don't know who we are.

wish i was there, to see it
and witness the bruising of youth—
but i am at home scrubbing my face off
and wondering if maybe
the magnetic part of me
got left out of my chemical equation.

for it is that i am always here, and not there—
and here is where i am
curled up alone in white space,
methodically dissecting an image in the mirror,
picking apart who i am,
and wishing i knew a little bit more about life.