You probably saw them at the Pride festival,

three teenage friends walking around together,

two of them in regular summer street clothes—

shorts with T-shirts, tanks tops, flip-flops,

the third, blond and skinny, in little red trunks, but

then later on, with afternoon waning toward evening

and the crowd thinning out, a second one of them

has stripped down to briefs, but having shed his clothes,

doesn’t quite know what to do with them,

so he stands there holding them in a bundle

under his arm, looking awkward, not because

of shyness about his near nudity, but just because

of having that wad of clothes to tote around,

you’re hoping that he’ll say what the fuck

and just toss them into the first trash barrel he says

and scamper freely off, but of course, he won’t;

he’ll just juggle the bundle around all evening.

And you realize that most of us act a bit like that;

we can tug off our inhibitions or emotional baggage

or whatever superficial stuff we need to let go of,

but having taken them off, still carry them everywhere.

Copyright 2015

T/ Allen Culpepper