|Photo by Vladislav Klapin|
At four a.m., it’s just me and my coaster bike, shoulder bag of papers,
AM radio headphones warming my ears. My hands sting from the snap
of rubber bands. My skin is blackened and smudged with newsprint, with
one-too-many mornings already leaving me lonely at thirteen. It’s my first
job. I’m no good at it. I fold on the front porch beneath yellow dull light, battling
blood thirsty bugs. I ride through the dark, ignoring street light shadows, secrets
brewing below the ridges of the cold asphalt threatening to crack this sleeping
city open wide. I pass by houses, pedal faster whenever Donna Summer comes
on the radio, or when I let Bonnie Tyler eclipse my hopeful heart. On dew
drenched lawns, I am Flashdance, Footloose, Fame. I am free because no one is
watching me dance except an imaginary boy. He breathes
love and devotion into my belief they exist. I make wishes and plans,
contemplate life beyond this paper route, certain my future will be newsworthy.
This poem is featured in the poetry collection Souvenir Boys.