Turning 30 Is Not a Milestone

by Justin Karcher

Let’s dye our hair
submarine blue

let’s listen
to the 2005 Warped Tour

let’s break
into crumbling
Rust Belt mansions
before Florida
sell the land

because the brokenness
is all we have

half-burned chunks of wax
with no 401(k) plans
running scared through a napless land
afraid to close our eyes & dream
afraid of what we’ll see
smartphone cockroaches
digging through our old texts
our old tweets

is the only thing we’ll leave behind

these days
we always smell
a little like
in the backs of our throats
where our tonsils
or shouldn’t be


[Justin Karcher (Twitter: @Justin_Karcher. Instagram: the.man.about.town) is a Pushcart-nominated poet and playwright born and raised in Buffalo, New York. He is the author of several books, including Tailgating at the Gates of Hell (Ghost City Press, 2015). He is also the editor of Ghost City Review and co-editor of the anthologies My Next Heart: New Buffalo Poetry (BlazeVOX [books], 2017) and MANSION (dancing girl press, 2019).]