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Feb 2012
I saw you in the night as you drank your coffee.
Sipping down caffeine like you were taking in gasoline
Wishing for that fuel to take you a few hundred miles farther than this.

I’m sorry that your addiction could not take you farther
Across this country of methamphetamine addicts and alcoholics;
I should know,
My nicotine has never gotten me farther than another cigarette
And my lungs can only line themselves with what we pave our roads with;
They say “Thank you, for smoking.”

It feels good sometimes

To know
That even though both my grandfathers have died due to this addiction
That I carry a legacy, a legend,
A map to where my blood has been going
Living through tradition like it was not something forgotten by our siblings,
Even our friends.
It’s like we’ve fallen deeper into preservation
Putting no chemicals into our lungs, but plenty into our stomachs-
I wonder how we justify it.
I guess it’s cheap can serve as satisfactory,
But I can still remember being a child and hearing:
“Erik, nothing in this life is free.
Do not be cheap.”

I’m sorry that the maps still show that New York is three thousand miles away from Oregon
I cannot rewrite them and manipulate the ways in which we travel
Take Minnesota and place it next to
Or Florida
I’m sorry that it seems we are still children
sipping on Coca Cola on the docks of Lake O’Dowd
Or teenagers still smoking **** in Kenwood park
Or like we are still college kids
Not doing our homework
So we may drink Pabst.

I am only twenty years old,
But I can already see how the paths are only highways towards the destinations we wish we could reach-
Yet sometimes cannot.
We are only children,
Wishing to be older, to find
We wish we could still be younger, only to
wish we could live forever,
To wish we could still be mortal
To wish this was not inconsequential

I am only twenty years old,
But I can see that we are already lost.

If you would trust me,
to lay your hand in mine
I’ll find the best drawn highway
on this barely marked map
And take us to the end.

You can take your coffee.
I just may take my cigarettes.
Erik Ervin
Written by
Erik Ervin  Washington, D.C.
(Washington, D.C.)   
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