testosterone (n.)

Compare Greek, parastates “one that stands by;” and French slang témoins, literally “witnesses”

These college boys are holding court
with a beer in each hand. These Cinderellas
know they only have until 2am
to fight, to kiss, to cry. If it happens before then,
it never happened. Alex is on the roof,
leaping into the next bed of shingles and turning
the phone line into a slingshot. Tucker is being consoled
in the corner, his shoulders drooping from their stiff pillars.
Don is playing chicken with Max, the inevitable punchline
that they both rush the liquored peck at the end. It’s only a joke
if people laugh. The other Max is far, far gone,
is wielding the small ax he was gifted
and aiming at the dartboard. Suddenly
everyone is sober. Yes, it clatters as it ricochets
to the floor, everyone jumping up as though evading
a scurrying mouse. He aims again, buries the blade off-
center. Mike jokingly encourages him to pick the darts
instead, and this is how it ends: Mike slammed to the floor,
holding his head as though trying to keep the yolk in. Max
above him, heaving while the righteous vulture soars through his veins.
The dartboard releases the ax. Its head
hits the floor like a gavel. 2am tolls
until next Saturday.

 

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LEVI TODD is a queer poet and lifelong Chicagoan. They serve as Poetry Editor for Tinderbox Poetry Journal and as a relationship health educator with youth. Levi’s work is published in Pinwheel, The Shallow Ends, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, and elsewhere. Read more of their work at www.levitodd.com or say hi @levicitodd on Twitter.