"Fourteen" by C. Dale Young

I’m in love with C. Dale Young’s “Fourteen.”

You can find it in OCHO #22: Dear America, Don’t Be My Valentine!

FOURTEEN

Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It has been
six days since my last confession. I let a guy
cheat off of my science test because it made me
feel smarter. And I ignored my Mother telling me

to be home by 9:00 pm. I don’t really even know
why she asks such things. And I continue to have
impure thoughts, sometimes every hour. I let a
girl kiss me, a boy, too, but we all had our clothes on.

And this may not be a sin, but I knocked Mike down
on the basketball court just as he was making a jump,
just to be able to help him up, help him back
to the locker room. His knee got twisted. It swelled

until it looked like a softball. It was so swollen.
He let me hold ice to it until his folks came.
I liked holding the ice to it. But I found myself
having impure thoughts, Father, strange thoughts.

I sat there holding the ice and staring at his knee
and up the legs of his shorts. I could see
the white edge of his jockey shorts and more.
I had to look, Father. I had to look.

Forgive me, I couldn’t help it, the staring.
It was like the time last week, after the game,
when I couldn’t help but watch the soap suds
under your chin just before you washed off.

I sat on a bench in my towel and watched you, the
shape of your back, your arms, your chest. I know
this is wrong, Father, watching you in the shower.
But I only watched the soap. I only watched the water.

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4 responses to “"Fourteen" by C. Dale Young

  1. I love this, Dustin. C. Dale Young? I’m enthralled.
    I myself am working on several poems for a collection entitled “Communion” or “Sacrament”. Two of them (so far) deal with the Sacrament of Reconciliation(Formerly referred to as “Confession”), so this piece of C. Dale Young’s really resonates with me.

  2. Lisa– I hope you’re healing swiftly. I miss seeing you out at the lit events/etc.

    C. Dale– It is such a great poem. I think you should record it and post the recording in your blog.

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