The Best Years – by Aaron Prestrud

The Best Years

First, there was the word
and the word was good.


Ethereal ephemera in the apocryphal autumn
When he was talking about what he thought

“Don’t say tenebrous when you mean dark”                                                Brenda Sieczkowski


The sun goes down so early,
As I sat in the ugliest love seat (in name only)

Surrounded by a glowing screen, empty cans
Cluttered windowsill choked with wires

Looking out at a lifeless world, dulled
By a half-assed attempt at winter.

Lonesome                   is the only word.

It’s times like this,
You miss people.

“Sometimes I feel like a fucking spam e-mail.”
Words become reality, prophetic lamentations.

They found him face down in his own vomit.
The lounge was as good a place to die in the mud as any.

I saw him a few days later

A gay black and white patchwork
(Shining, despite the overcast sky
A single chink forced through the front)
Draped itself over his skeletal frame

That blanket will save him.

89 Volvo on highway 22 Westbound,
the start to a yuppie country song.

Her half tank-roared
Through thickly
Pined valleys

Wild lament of
a lost soul
rent through
chilled air

When the needle pointed accusingly at E

She steamed empty
beside a lake
against the shore

A buck knife held limply – a cold hand
The cry still echoing against the cliffs

Miles away, it woke me from my slee
A floating head blocked the orange
Light that shined on my sleep filled eyes.

Another crisis, real and yet less fathomable
The knife had a different target to hunt now.

Tears soon,
then rage.

I wished I was still dreaming.

Running – locked legs – yelping
White puff dingy with mud
Tufts of hair abandoned on briars.

The years are longer for some,
and we leave the best behind