A child’s version of wisdom
sits alone on the edge
of years of dingy decisions.
Moments patterned in plaid
like a dirty old shirt that screams maturity
lost to a terra-cotta hardship.

It was perfect.
Nude and velvet blue
drifting on an ocean of choices.
And in a pinch of pink
that dusts ashen tone skin,
I tried to develop a fine point.
I was to include
everything I ever wanted to be
and watch the day drip white nostalgia.

You see, I once kissed a girl named Jessica,
tore love-me-nots from a Dixie cup,
and dreamed of leftover hand jobs
from women with men
better equipped to love them.
I once fought with a boy named Trevor
over a haircut, his vicious middle finger,
and an overwhelming need to validate
a disappointing childhood
while his friends, Steve, Charlie, Chuck, and Bobby,
stood by and cackled like junkie vagrants
licking their chapped lips
sucking their sour apple-green stained tongues.

In the end, I stuffed my heart with a wayward architect,
an uneducated man who believed that
all art leads to fucking and drinking.
Together, we redesigned a familiar visage,
a simple view adorned in chevron—
thick lines dusted in gold flake,
and I found my inspiration
at the end of a long line at a rummage sale
wedged between The Essential van Gogh
and a VHS version of Batman: The Movie,
the one starring Michael Keaton.

My architect and I fiddled
with my suburban eye for hours—
a nice-looking shelf, a very sturdy chair,
a vintage depth-of-field.
And when we were done,
I found myself sitting at the kitchen table,
next to a dirty knife,
doodling buck-naked nouveau
sipping a craft beer,
and valuing that moment seemed fitting.

I had customized my vision.
And not with new lamps, loveseats,
shining tabletops, and cowhides, no.
I had learned to redefine my heart
with the cunning use of the color wheel
and questionable arrangements.
I’d heard the fiction of an ordinary genius.
Learned how impractical well-worded wisdom could be.
I understood why daylight seems so boring
while black-and-white pictures seem so interesting.
I had come to understand
why Lady Brett loved the bullfighter.

Most importantly,
I had finally learned to marginalize Trevor,
his asshole friends,
and all girls named Jessica.