Let Loose Upon The Earth
at beautiful Scott’s wedding, all eyes
taking in light and shadow of bride and groom,
entwined tongues reaping applause from Old World grandmothers,
Christian teetering, red-browed
as he slid the garter up a 16-year-old’s thigh (more applause).
We leapt into my rusted Buick as if it was a lifeboat,
drove flawlessly across wet Pennsylvania,
danced in the warm basement
of a frat house in Gettysburg.
Leo was the first to wear Doc Martens.
He screamed Morrissey lyrics
and we listened as they faded through dark woods,
our hands cold from stolen beers.
He pined to be the next Jarmusch
but would drop out of film school,
begin one year to mumble:
Philadelphia (a boss, a street, the entire metropolis) was slanted against him.
He walks with a cane now and when he speaks his MS tosses marbles through his words until he quits.
Scott’s alcoholism fully bloomed as he became a father,
suffered a divorce, may or may not have been homeless.
He found religion and a flooring business in DC.
Christian would fly a Chinook in Iraq and not be shot down and have a son.
Leo’s charming brother would steal his girlfriend on a roadtrip to Portland,
and two years later commit suicide. Darren hit the cement base
of a Dairy Queen sign at 80mph. Luke ran off the 10th-floor roof of his dorm,
yet we still had an open casket, the makeup inadequate, my grandfather confused.
I fell in love with Abby as she chased across a field hockey pitch.
She would later tell me she had been raped
on a country road outside Lancaster,
and later still tell me that was a lie.
We were growing up. We were well provided for.
Looking back it seems like
someone threw us off a cliff.