I didn’t join them on their jaunts, my friends,
Never launched a clanging raid on the chainlink
Around some prohibited place, never scrambled
Through the backlit wood toward some worthless view
For the thrill, never courted needless danger,
Never fought for the pure blood buzz.
Nothing unplotted appealed to me.
I would not dive in the dark.
Instead, I waited in the lot, by the gate, on the dock.
Half-hiding, I invented the senselessness of their racing,
Erasing in advance the force of their findings.
Vaguely concerned with my record, with pain,
I convinced myself I was a thing to be saved,
Believing some precious design had fixed
A better calling to consume me until
The night was eclipsed by my friends’ laughing return—
No greater cause set out for me.
Nothing staked itself past the redundant dream
Of careless offering, no grand conviction came to me
Though I sense how nothing can happen for so long,
How unrisked life yawns,
How some night, unannounced,
I will struggle past the breakers, feeling only
Then why I let the waves bring my body in—
by Mike Theune