hymns to youth

By Rosie DeSantis

Kofi & Lauren & Louie & me
(Aaron too),
we found the hatch up to the roof
during recess, said
today, now on,
everything gotta be different.

Arm in arm, it was:
We on the verge of this rusting city
declare ourselves naked,
vast, and certain—

K calls—
carve your name in asphalt!
be forever!
we lean cool
in no shade and
hang our feet over the edge
so that we begin to feel
the ground so low
the joint the forty and
high swelling noon
we share.

In heat,
sweating over old every-days,
we wave nude to the city,
plant our flag on our history,
and like stumbling conquerors
begin to make new.
Shoes shorts skirt in a pile,
sure as the sun in our skin
we lay bare brown or perfect
in the time we’ll take with us;
above the heavy air of
humid memory,

in the hubris of
bright days like these.

About Rosie 

Rosie DeSantis is an experimental theater-maker, teaching artist, actress, and poet from the east side of Detroit living in New York City. Her work has been featured in Black Napkin Press, Linden Avenue, American Chordata, Rabbit Catastrophe Press, and more.