12/31/99 10:11 p.m. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

Not soon enough,
but I can wait 2 hours,
because everyone can wait
1,000 years
for 1 second.

It’s dark in here
with one lamp
and I feel as if
this big leather-bound book
is closing;
nothing more can be added,
nothing more extracted,
and we are thumbing
through wrinkled pages
one last time.
These brown edges feel so good,
we think.

Tears fill the eyes
of not just the nation,
for once,
the world feels the same pain.
One pain bores into each heart,
whether untouched or weathered,
as we all realize
this is no continuation.
Numbers mean more now;
numbers mean an end,
and just the same,
a beginning.

As we wipe away tears,
we wipe away the death
of a young influential father
who died before his sun came up,
and the son who followed all of his father’s footsteps,
even those that lead
to an early grave.

Into our tissues land
youth, sporadic death,
students who attack
and were attacked,
who all died
in the end.

n the wastebasket
lands the black and white
good old days,
hand in hand with
the revolutionaries,
as conflicting generations
suddenly coincide.

The silver-gleaming generation
of metal and silicone
quickly takes the garbage out,
blindly vowing to one day
carry our world to a cradle
of peaceful success,
and lay corrupted failure
to rest
in the nursery of the past.

We grieve all the losses
that have occurred
with this loss of nines.
We cry because we cannot
remember the good,
because there is too much good,
but the evil always casts
an opaque shadow
over it.
We cry not because we know,
but because we have no idea
what awaits us.
We have prepared our computers,
stocked up on water,
but have we prepared our hearts
for the memories of generations
we cannot even call our own?

I have waited my entire life
to dread this night.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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