This barely qualifies because I wrote this when I was nineteen, but I think it really captures the yikes of my young adulthood. Come to think of it, I can still relate to this poem to an embarrassing degree. Dating someone four years older seemed so glamorous at the time, but in hindsight I don’t think I was ready for the wisdom and maturity of men in their early twenties.
This poem is a sestina. Sestinas are hard to explain so I’ll let Wikipedia do it. But basically, you choose six words, and every line in the poem ends with one of those words in a specific pattern. Six stanzas and a triplet. I still write sestinas all of the time along with pantoums; they’re a great exercise.
I wrote this for my sophomore poetry workshop, which I believe is where I first met Kevin’s FIANCE. She wrote a poem about crushing on the garbage man which included the line, “’You have nice trash,’ he said.” Delightful! Workshops were awesome like that. Here we go:
I know you still want to be my friend
But sometimes, when I’m at your home
Playing pool, we drink too much beer
And you start calling me Baby
And you hug me, and hold me, and kiss
Me, and it makes me feel like shit.
Because, you know, it really is a bunch of bullshit.
You don’t just want me to be your friend
You want me to come over and kiss
Your ass. But when I go home
I curl up and cry like a baby
And the only thing that makes me feel better is beer
Which sucks, because you’re always drinking beer
And beer reminds me of you now, and that’s shitty.
Sometimes you drink so much you act like a baby,
And it’s really hard to be your friend
When I have to pick you up and drive you home
From the bar and you lean in to kiss
Me goodbye, and all I want is to kiss
You forever. You don’t want forever. You want another beer.
You know what I want? I want to stay home
Just so I don’t have to put up with your shit
And if you really want to be my friend
Then you can’t fucking call me Baby
Because I love it when you call me Baby
And I love it when you hold me, and kiss
Me, and talk to me like I’m still your girlfriend.
And I love that when I’m sad, you bring over a case of beer
And we drive to a park and talk about all the shit
That’s going on with us, and then you take me home.
But when you hug me goodbye, your arms feel like home
And I stand there holding you, crying like a baby
Because I know it’s a bunch of bullshit.
You only kiss me because you need someone to kiss
When you’ve had lots of beer,
Not because you miss being my boyfriend.
So I’m just going to go home, so you can’t kiss
Me, or call me baby, or feed me beer
Or feed me your bullshit. It hurts to be your friend.
I justify any crying from all of the aforementioned beer. Ahhhh college. We got back together like three weeks later, and then I dumped him a year and a half after that. I have nothing but fond memories of that time in my life and I probably wouldn’t remember the bad stuff if it wasn’t for this poem (again: beer).