4th of July, before nightfall
by Timothy Batchelder
I remember your untied derbies and your jeans torn
at the knees.
I remember your fond words, memories
of Carlo Rossi “jug life” on the streets of San Francisco,
of busking near Haight and sleeping in the park,
of raiding the Trader Joe’s dumpster for good food,
and feasting with friends.
I remember a youthful romance
in these stories that seemed out of date.
I remember thinking you would’ve belonged in an era
travelling by boxcar from one odd job to the next,
or advocating free love with your guitar. Instead,
you were born a Millennial
and already you were getting older,
and already you missed the old days.
I remember your face, pale like spoiled milk,
after what I’d later learn were your secret rendezvous
with the needle, a reunion
with an old friend you’d never spoken of.
I remember your words, those plentiful birds,
turn to feathers of ash in a light wind,
as if their temple and perch had already burned
out under the fireworks to come.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Timothy Batchelder is a senior at California State University, Northridge, where he is majoring in English - Creative Writing. He has recently been published in The Northridge Review and The American Journal of Poetry.
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