Poem of the Teenager
Are there strings on the canary and black? If so,
it’s hush on the defense. Bruises await the cold tub,
though they are hardly bruises yet. Having come up
with the ball, and having broken the plane we go
to the cold millimeters: an old director cutting to the jaw line
of some brute ingénue as she crosses tomboy into straight cut
above the knee organza, still some part of herself
but better, improved, realized. Many films are made on this rule,
plastic high school welcoming puberty by the hand
and welcoming all but those Jan & Dean deadly curves.
Joshua Butts’ work has recently appeared in Quarterly West, Forklift, Word For/Word and Sonora Review. To Learn to Fingerpick Guitar, a chapbook, was published in 2006 by Pudding House.