The Coming of Age

Jacob Laba

May 10, 2022


A coming-of-age! a joyous affair. Have you studied the holy book of
birds and bees? Have you memorized its
passages? Yes, yes — good, good. If you hadn’t, you wouldn’t know what
hounds there are — what that white-night, blurry-hurry could be.
Though perhaps it’s a surprise either way —
though perhaps one can never know what to say.

Would you look at that audience! What bass-laden recoil their
soundless claps have
as they scale soundproofed walls! I can imagine their echoes
for good. Can you feel it? — feel it, it is you! What a momentous
affair. Are you proud? You should be proud. Shush, your cries of
golden glory garble, though, should not be so loud. Not a
sealed can, nor an open casket. Look ahead: now, it is time;
you must recite the verses:
“please, no, no, no” (ln. 58–∞: Purgatorio) —
and perform the rest of the ceremony in
loose-hand, deadpan

Jacob Laba is a writer and poet from El Cerrito, California. He has been published in Collidescope, The East Bay Times, LitVegan, and elsewhere.