Adrienne Pilon

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        The Boys
                                                             after James Joyce

Boys from delta delta kappa omega alpha something
are perched on the lampposts, the brick walls of
their hallowed institution, perched on the rainspouts,
on the windowsills, corners, gutters, whistling and cheering.
The boys are loud. They like beer. They festoon
the gutters the windowsills the corners of their hallowed institutions
with cans. They will drink until they grow yet louder.
They will drink until they curse because they forget other words
and because they forget their mothers and grandmothers.
They drink so much they can forget they have mothers
and grandmothers and aunts and cousins and sisters,
too, so they can rape girls, or at least try.
They drink until they are blind with it and vomit
up to their ankles. The toilets of their hallowed institution
will stop up with their beer-laced vomit,
half-digested pizza, condoms, maybe even a hamster
or a ham sandwich. Or napkins which they used to clean
the vomit from the rim of the toilet.
Their courtyards are decorated with pizza boxes
and mostly-eaten pizzas and vomit
and beer cans. Because they like beer.
The boys drink and boast and swear and swell until
their bloated carcasses lay lolled like dead
dogs on bladderwrack. Or in this case,
the brick and cement courtyards
and foyers and hallways of their hallowed institution.

Later, they will clean up, press their button-downs, shine
their shoes, slick back their smooth hair, shave their hairless chins.
Their pants will be creased down the center, pointing forward,
the direction in which they move even when their bloated
carcasses lay lolled in those courtyards of that hallowed
institution, carcasses bloated because they like beer so much.
Moving forward because they are taking their rightful place
in the world, a world run by boys,
boys who like beer.


Adrienne Pilon is a writer, teacher and traveler. She is published here and there.