My Poem About Something I Used to Have
Pressed into silence by the rainstorm outside
I invaded the memories of my youth
which my mother had stored away in my closet.
Comic books, report cards, collages of oceans and skies
and all the imagined enemies of Superman
were cast aside with one fond glance
until there, beneath a cape I'd worn when I was a six year old vampire
lay the thing I'd hoped to find all along.
The little plastic pieces had been sorted into sandwich bags
and I spilled them out across the floor.
Yellow, red, blue, green, and orange:
more than enough for my design,
a house on a hill and no one inside.
One by one I inserted the pieces into the mute black board
and I crossed and uncrossed my legs, and I made mistakes and had inspirations,
until forty minutes of my life were gone. Then I flipped a switch,
and my house on a hill with no one inside
was illuminated in a burst of technology
by a wattage powerful enough
to warm a small blade of grass by one degree
or perhaps light up the interior of an entire cigar box.
I looked at my dimly glowing creation for a moment
as the rain lathered my bedroom windows,
the horizontal green line of my ground
and the diagonal blue zigzag which represented smoke
from a chimney built out of eight red squares.
Forty minutes of work resulting in about five seconds of payoff.
I realized then that I should have just written the word "LOSER" on my Lite Brite
and snuck up on my brother
and flipped the switch at just the key moment,
devastating him with satire,
and at the same time warning him away
from his own future experiments with memory
which would result in nothing more profound
than one infinitely sad proclamation
just a little too long to spell out with those tiny colored teeth:
"This thing is absolutely no fun if you're not seven."