the hideout concert

A security guard shook
a girl awake. “Don't sleep
out here. You'll die.”

It was the time for sleep.
I took the first train, she took it,
we all rode it beneath the city

nearer and nearer until
eventually I could raise
my head and recognize

the people going where I
was going. Maybe we all had
the same darkened eyes but

youthful cheeks. No one wore
make-up but all would apply it later
in the fifth-floor bathroom, where

the powdery scent of cream and
cherubic blush danced with the
pink, familiar sound of a soft name

until we forgot how cold
it was outside, or the time
we'd spent there. Because soon

none of it would matter. Not
the money spent or the dreams
we didn't get to have,

because soon, soon the bass
would make us forget
and he, our reason, a little

star with bent legs and uneven
teeth, would stand, smile
and sing the cold away.

But it snowed over his city
on the first birthday he wasn't
here for, though it was spring

and we were the ones meant to
leave, to become too busy for
concerts and finally part with our

albums like the last petals drift
from thin branches.
We were supposed to die,

not him.

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