Just as when I was sixteen

Just as when I was sixteen

I made a bold unspoken proc-

lamation to the world:

I will not compete with you. If

competition must be done, then

you must come compare yourself

to me;

I am finding what it is

to be—

So tonight at twice sixteen I’m

issuing a similar de-

cree:

All those things the magazines

maintain that I can do, can be,

and all the things the books imply

that I should fear and fight about

are true.

But I can never read enough

to know enough to think of those

things,

for I am here and now is thin

and I am out of magazines,

not in;

and what I see and sense is so

entirely what I know of truth

and being,

that if it matters whether I

am seeing, doing, being all

the magazines have listed and

insist that I must do,

then he to whom it matters must

come measure me himself,

for I am bad at mathematics

good at something more uncertain,

primitive and nameless yet:

discovering a planet for

myself.