"Commencement Address" by Dean Young

Commencement Address

I love you for shattering.
Someone has to. Just as someone
has to announce inadvertently
the end of grief or spring’s
splurge even as the bureaucracy’s
spittoon overflows. Someone has to come out
the other end of the labyrinth
saying, What’s the big deal?
Someone has to spend all day staring
at the data from outer space
or separating the receipts
or changing sheets in sour room after room.
I like it when the end of the toilet paper
is folded into a point.
I like napkins folded into swans
because I like wiping my mouth on swans.
Matriculates, come back from the dance floor
to sip at the lacrimal glands of chaos,
a god could be forgiven
for eating you, you’ve been such angels
just not very good ones.
You’ve put your tongue
into the peanut canister
of your best friend’s girlfriend’s mom.
You’ve taken a brown bag lunch
on which was writ another’s name.
All night it snows a blue snow
like the crystallized confessions
you’ve wrung from phantoms
even though it is you wearing the filched necklace,
your rages splitting the concrete like dandelions.
All that destruction from a ball of fluff!
There’s nothing left but hope.

~ Dean Young
from the May/June issue of APR

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