Forever 21

by Gene Twaronite 

All the dresses
in the store look
made for people who
never have to worry
if they’ll fit.

To be twenty-one again,
with firm body
and all parts working
and the world
in front of me,
to feel the power
and daily glow of lust.

But there’s a catch
to freezing time.
No longer is it
merely a moment
to forget or recall,
but a vise
that holds me fast
in eternal replay,

like that time I got wasted
and tried making love
with a girl I had finally
wooed into bed
but missed
my connection
and I had to go on
missing it
in perpetuity,

like the look on
my father’s face
when he picked me
up at the airport
and I had to keep
on viewing it
as if in a museum
like some portrait
of failure,

like the long train ride
for my physical
when I almost got drafted
to fight in a hopeless war
in a distant jungle
and my pulse rate
remained at 140
for hours until
the doctors finally
sent me home
but instead of going home
I had to sit there
dwelling on what
might have been
as my heart beats
double time forever.


Gene Twaronite is a Tucson author, writer, and poet. He is the author of the juvenile fantasy novels The Family That Wasn’t and My Vacation in Hell, and the collection of children’s stories Dragon Daily News: Stories of Imagination for Children of All Ages. Other books include Approaching Wilderness: Six Stories of Dementia and The Absurd Naturalist, a collection of humorous nature and gardening essays. His first book of poetry Trash Picker on Mars was published by Kelsay Books in 2016. His newest poetry collection is The Museum of Unwearable Shoes. Follow more of his writing at:

1 Comment

Filed under Poetry

One response to “Forever 21

  1. Lucas Shepherd

    This poem really took me to an exciting and unexpected place after the first stanza…love the ending, too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s