They Dug Up Their Joy And Buried It Again

The kids walked out.
They walked out onto the driveway and the lawn.
They walked down the roadway and into the forest.
They found the guns and buried the guns.
They cried into their guns and the memories of their friends who had no time.
Time to sledgehammer and time to sex.
Time to talk against the wind and time to rest.
They walked into the forest and planted their eyes and their lips.
Dug up the ground with shovels made from guns
and planted their arms and their feet.
What else could they do?
They jumped over streams and their chests were torn up by branches and thorns.
They did not care. They were wet.
They were naked and there were no masks.
The Estee Lauder masks and the Aztec masks.
They ripped up the earth and buried their lungs and their eyebrows.
You couldn’t find a phone or a circuit board.
There were no computers or submarines.
They walked out into the forest and the forest opened up its forest arms
and welcomed them with forest spit and grime.
All the kids.
Every single kid and they buried the guns and next to the guns
they buried their fingernails and their joy.
They dug up their joy and buried it again
and their sadness anxiety
and the memories of their friends on rollercoasters
and their friends smoking dope.
They were naked and in the springtime
when the snow had melted and the sun was warm
the forest floor burst with caterpillars and ferns
and the kids walked out, back out, from the forest floor.
They were filthy and naked and
there was so much green it was blinding.


Matthew Lippman‘s most recent collection, MESMERIZINGLY SADLY BEAUTIFUL won the 2018 Levis Prize and will be published by Four Way Books in 2020. He is the founder of the web based resistant project, Love’s Executive Order,


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