The edge of the hedgerow was the edge of everything; I gave you safe passage, invited you to come and dance as the honeybees toiled. You told me that your Dad was a bad man, and I believed you. I picked you flowers while you cried and said you couldn't say anymore. Smell of BBQ from down the shore. Lawnmowers and cut grass. Everything smelled vaguely of kerosene. I wanted to punch your Dad to death for making you cry, but I didn't. I just picked flowers and told stupid jokes and that was enough. Summer turned to fall and we met by the hedgerow, shyly.
My Dad didn't do anything bad. He didn't have it in him. My Dad was like freshly starched laundry smelling liniment. I asked what he did that was so bad, but you only cried harder. For the sin of men.
Teachers feared us, flip and arrogant. I was the jester and you, the heir apparent. You spit your light like a gasoline fire, arrogant. You were dangerous, but no one knew or suspected shit. They never realized that you would grow up to be the kind of person who serves on committees and boards. A person with influence.
And now that I think about it, rainbows and beaches, crooked joints pulled from tubular sweatshirt pockets. Yeah, it's all there. Nitrous flashes be damned, I'm telling you that I heard something with my eyes and you're straight fucked. You might as well never breathe again. No one can help with your problems unless you talk about them. Sitting and crying don't do shit, Slim.
I can taste electric citrus. You are just the devil's mistress. I caught the shit, but the fan just missed us. Dissed us, kissed us, sunshine blissed us. And yeah, of course I love it when you call me Big Poppa. Now pop a couple more because we're headed for the dance floor. All you suburban kids. Hands in the air, life on the line, pop another Percocet and have a good time.
And you age and grey and get old if you're lucky. Look, you're a mom, and you're a point of civic pride and nobody knows about the fucked up games that get played in your basement. How you make the poor folks dance and prod each other. Anything for your amusement. It's just money. They're just bums and drug addicts. This is life. This is fucking theater. I saw a drunk junkie, and I threw a TV at her.
The smoke climbs the wind and the evening fawns over all of us. Degenerates rejoice. Paranoids shut their blinds. Saints keep right on dying. Me and your mom are done trying. But you can still call me Daddy and not be lying.