Those Damn Richard Nixons

One day, you told me about
how, in high school,
you and your friends
would skip class
and hang out in the teacher’s lounge.
About how
you’d flip through textbooks
and draw devil horns
on all the pictures of Richard Nixon.

I am drawn to rebellious people
like a moth to a flame,
because I see them
as more actualized versions
of myself.
It wasn’t all of why
I fell in love with you,
why you felt like magic to me,
but it was certainly part of it.

I only skipped class once
in high school.
I went to the library
to study for another class,
and felt nervous and guilty
the whole time.
Deep down, I wanted to be like you–
braver, more reckless and unconcerned.
I wanted to base my decisions
on the desires of my soul,
not rules and authority figures.
I was always good,
but I didn’t want to be good.

I wanted to be free.

I wanted to draw devil horns
on those damn Richard Nixons.

(May 2022)

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