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The boys bloom

The boys were told
not to wear flowers behind their ear,
such gentle things
belonged on the bottom of boots
pressed into the soil
never to see light.

Because they were men
That they were blokes
or one of the boys.

Voices kept telling them to man up,
stop being a pussy,
conditioning them to believe
what had given them life
was a hindrance,
that it did not deserve reverence.

A mother’s touch is only good for babies; men,
men shake hands and stand tall
pat on the back, bumping of shoulders
Because a mother’s touch is only good for babies,
a push and a shove and blood feeds fist like sun feeds flower.

Without sunlight it withers,
so does a baby that doesn’t know of a mothers touch.

Learning of brotherly embrace
from each other, the fatherless few
these bands of brothers gather, run wild,
chasing the idea of being better men,
but away from ghosts, husks
that little boys fill with movie depictions,
of first shave lessons and footy throws. 

Repressed tears salt the soul
twist the view of survival
any affection, the prick of thorns,
allows weeds
to choke out petals

But salt can be staved off,
remedied with surfing late night trains
or waves of asphalt on burning rubber,
laughter and hollers fills the gaps between breaths.

Nothing is hidden under a sky
lit by stars and bonfire.
Soaked in cheap goon, little boys
empty themselves, extract tears
under weakened exteriors.

Between sobs
they swallow smoky air,
Empty of salt
something blooms.

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Poem Audio

  • Kevin Ngo reads 'The boys bloom'