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Benjamin Schmitt



We went to the shows where
guitars squealed orbits in
abandoned factories; Viking drummers 
summoned Berserkers with a thud;
the pale faces of bassists
flickered like candles in the shadows;
the singer’s rage was bottled 
in pomposity but sometimes a little 

feeling leaked out. For kids this is
the excavation of a revolution,
the old ideas of youth
dug up in tombs of leather and tattoos.

Friendships feel like runes and we
are less interested in deciphering them
than surreptitiously peeking 
at their mystery. I was lost until 
someone said they loved Nine Inch Nails too
and afterwards it felt so peaceful to rest upon

a new solidity. But we were young
and the heart hurts for the hurt hearts.
When I lost my virginity the girl 
didn’t tell me she had a boyfriend. 
Three friends jumped me in an alley
as all my other friends looked on.

They left me to bleed with the old
ideas of youth. Betrayed, I threw rocks at them
and shouted. Then I slowly let my pain
become the river to carry me through. 

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