As the artist set up his loops
layering beats onto vocals
creating his own backup
being his own best friend and his own whipping boy

— this young boy
fresh faced and sheepishly grinning
too young to call an artist with a straight face
despite the truth of it —

as I sat looking around at the thousands of people
while they stood, entranced
by this delicate child and his new music
some singing along by heart and some waiting patiently to get laid

it occurred to me that there is
for each of us
a moment where we pull the lever on culture
taking our chances on where the reel will settle

a moment that colors everything before and after
horseshoes and diamonds and bananas
your one pull lining up a semaphore
that only your tribe will understand.

Did you stop it, stop it girl?
Did you believe nothing’s gonna to stop us now?
Did you stop, collaborate and listen?
Or did you stop… hammer time, knowing you can’t touch this?

The redhead on the stage wasn’t even born and you were already stopping.
You were stuck in second gear when he was in second grade.
Now he sweats on stage alone with his sold-out crowd
and you wonder what exact moment it was when your place in this life stopped spinning.

Little boxing glove cherries
signifying the before and after of our perspective
where here I see the past and there I see the future,
the payout randomly rigged. Some of us just got lucky.