when I think of happiness I think of us
stuffed inside a car, talking all at once, singing along at the top of our lungs
with the windows rolled down.
how adults pass us by, the annoyance obvious in their eyes— kids, these days.
late nights up, awake in the darkness of our rooms with a blue glow
reflecting in our dry eyes, fingers flying over letters that form
unanswered questions and startling confessions.
how we circle around crackling fires as the sun goes down,
burning marshmallows, swatting away at the thousands of mosquitoes
that owe their lives to our sweet, young blood. (eat us up.)
the way we bob up and down in backyard pools and
aim plastic beach balls at all the wrong places.
how we always forget to keep score among all the shrieks, sputters, and smiles.
crying at laptop screens and movie theaters and ripped paper pages.
sobbing over people we’ll never meet, and screaming at the ones we already have.
this is what it’s like to feel young, we think.
this is what it’s like to act our age.
(combined, we are approximately one hundred and sixty years old,
but we have none of the grace nor wisdom.)
we’re anger, we’re doubt, we’re denial, we’re desolation.
we’re bliss, we’re euphoria, we’re ecstasy, we’re exhilaration.
we’re the kids you never paid attention to
and the friends you always dreamed of having.