Pain makes the world real.
Things like misspelt last names
And wrong receipts, pale,
like a shocked at nudity face, because who knew
you could feel this much.
It’s like if you could see your nerve endings they would pulse
Like quickening lovers hearts because there is a world out there
Of cute student boys who talk, awkwardly, about air vent systems and turn
their faces towards you with crinkles in their smiles.
These papered grins speak of textbook evenings and numbered nights,
Countdowns (you, hope) to a date on a Friday 13th because
That means cheap pizza from a place called Hell and dancing
In a black silk dress at a club with roses festooning the clapboard sign because
it’s rock star night and what is metal without romance?
But you only have a smile and a fading memory of a face.
So your nerves are raw
more like the sparklers that burn-to-blacken kids fingers
Close to the quick.