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A Poem About the Guitar Riff from "I Can’t Handle Change" by ROAR🪞Jonny Bolduc

Let the dream play again, if you have a moment. Even if you’re busy,

take a seat. This memory is a placeholder. A homeroom, somewhere

you spend each blearyeyed high school morning; a point where two

loops converge. The spot where the CD always skips. The vacant convenience

store you passed by walking to school every morning;

tufts of weeds growing up through the crumbling concrete,

a faded Pepsi sign. And sometimes, I ask myself if

this is all there is left.

And it’s fucked up that these places make me sad, or at least achy,

like I took the wrong turn, a gnawing sense that

this world is not the right one, and at some point

I walked through the wrong door.

All these places, half formed, where I’ve

sat down, risen from, stared at.

Places that still infiltrate dreams.

Childhood bedroom,

divots in the green carpet,

a place that should have been safe

from terror

but that danger collapsed in on.

And I want to go back. I want to go

Back to my dorm room, I want to go back

to the house party where I met you, I want to

go back to Halifax and I want to go back and I want to

make these memories comforting.

I want to erase what really happened when the door

creaked open and the shadows bled in like an open wound.

Go back to the empty years and make them whole.

Go back to the forgotten days and fill them with meaning.

The days are the years and the years are the life. And

years are the stone upon the chest. The change I can’t handle.

🎸 Jonny Bolduc (@JONNYBOLDUC) is a poet from Lewiston, Maine. He teaches writing to seventh graders at a rural Maine middle school and is a devoted guardian to three cats.


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