Anxieties of Absence

by Johnny Dantonio

We were young.

We missed people more than places.

On beach trips with our families, 

there were bumper cars, jet skis;

flash enjoyments,

beach-themed distractions.

Engulfed, though, by anxieties of absence:

missing out on things back home with our best friends, 

our boyfriends, girlfriends,

these supposed angels to whom, for a time, we swore allegiance;

to whom we promised eternity.

I can't even remember their names anymore.

We're older now,

anxieties of absence ever-lingering,

and we don't miss people or places so much,

pining rather for the versions of ourselves we thought we'd be by now.