YOUTH

A Poem

By Bontle Mpete


Youth has become an old man

Wearing an even older jersey–

The one I wanted to wear

To look old because I’m just too young

And any way that’s what the kids are doing these days–
Too young to be so conflicted.
I should have jumped
Drawn on my eyebrows
Danced all night.
I haven’t eaten all day
I’m not even hungry–
Not for food.
Not for a future I don’t see.
Not hungry for you.

Would you take me with you?
Will you take me with you?
Can you take me with you?

Never mind
I have nothing to wear!

It should be nothing.
I should be able to see it that way– I’m young–
But that old man was too old,
And so was the jersey
Because I’m actually too fucking young
To appreciate quality.

I am growing up though
(I have decided not to jump).

I have drawn these high walls around myself.

Plus, I can’t dance anyway
So I’ll just stay home and eat all day.