Dear New Journal,
You give me hope
for what you may become
by the time you’re filled and dead.
You make me grateful
for all your brothers
who’ve lain down their lives
for the sake of my prior pens.
You eke out a smile
upon these sad lips every time
When the storms surround you,
when the darkness has eaten
every last drop of light –
be still, my son.
Do not let them move you.
Do not allow the unknown
to frighten and spur you.
For there has always been
calm that follows, a ray of hope
John tells me a joke. He thinks
I’ll find it funny. In it, he insults
every body who’s not exactly like him.
Calls it a punchline.
He says it with such confidence,
like he’s always been right.
Like he’s performed this
countless times before
to rooms of receptive…
something that’ll make them forget
every wolf hunting them from shadows,
the boys pretending to be men
trying to prove to their snickering friends
that this is how you become one
the fact that drinks here cost $12
but are still watered down and made
with liquor that has…