For Ryan


Hot and lit in a packed-out gig watching spit

Fly from the lips of the frontman,

Near enough to see the blood in the veins

On his neck,

The salt in his sweat,

I was back, for a moment,

Cold in a packed-out school hall,

Rising from the bench to sing aloud

And morning did not break on my tongue.

When the music started up, I mouthed silently along.

And I wondered how it happens that so many of us learn

That it’s somehow wrong to sing our song.