Slipping into the cellar of my mind,
Descending through musty recollections
Each step downward, another step further into the past
The ages roll backward, appearing as strata of a canyon wall.
The flash of neon proclaims the seam of my teenage years
Walls aglow with black light posters,
strobe light pulsing with stomach-turning frequency.
A moment frozen in time by artificial lightning flashes.
This teenage incubator, a coveted refuge free of worldly judgement,
Provided a medium for the seeds of independent to take root,
where questions of gender incongruity could be examined
with an eye toward what the future might hold.
Here in my garden, among the flowers that were nurtured
skepticism and cynicism took root as the invasive thistle
Each bloom of confidence choked out by weeds of doubt
In corners they grew in spite of the absence of light
How to reconcile the bits, pieces, the feelings
Strewn strategically about the room
A can holding a Woodstock puzzle, filled with cheap weed
Proclaiming peace and love in the age of Aquarius
The corner bulletin board meanwhile
Displays a map of Vietnam torn from a newspaper
Its broad sweeping arrows proclaiming how simple it is to win this war,
A new age of peace powered by napalm and agent orange.
Even fifty years later I can still feel the agony in my soul.
The endless stream of questions without answers
Hopelessness over so much suffering, so many contradictions,
The scars of a lifetime marking the struggle to finally discover who I am.