Back when you were defined
by what you hadn’t done yet,
books could write themselves
and you would travel the world without any receipts
in your pocket.
Then one day you wake up in Los Angeles with a degree in your backpack
and you haven’t written
or seen the ocean
or sat down at an upscale bar with a sports coat on,
schmoozing your way into an older woman’s bed.
We are caricatures in our youth,
embellishing our characters and casting
them out beyond the current.
And while we’re painting our futures in light
of the warnings we’ve heard,
the red tide returns. We find office jobs
and raise families with resignation.
Thoughts have more vivid colors:
a sailboat in the future has eggshell drapes
and rocks on a blue, blue ocean,
but the world’s beaches are green
and smell of fish,
and boy is it hot out.
– North Hollywood, CA