Throw open autumn. They have
returned, August sun in their faces.
And you have accomplished
little and not much in their absence.
You are struck that a gift of tangelos
are love’s flame. You wonder if your
arms just might not let go. And you
die a little when you realize that you
have nothing, but you to give in return.
They squeeze you, taking the oxygen
from your lungs to make room for new.
Their milk chocolate baubles are a
romance with sequels, and their eyes
never leave you because in a way, you
were gone, too.
There are a few things
I cannot do and I feel
you should be aware
I cannot ocean, nor can I
cloud though I have been
known to muddy my own
I have never been able to
river much like one doesn’t
leaf or silt. I’m sure you
If I had only been asked I
would gladly have learned
to sky and heaven on earth.
But I could stars if I were in
your arms. I’m sure of it.
Just as I am sure I can only
flocks of starlings soaring
when you are near.
So I’m twirling my spaghetti
only the twirling shows no
signs of stopping.
People at tables next to ours
laugh nervously and smile
because the entire plate of
spaghetti is on my fork now
and there’s no retreating.
Sanity holds no sway. I reach
for the parmesan cheese
because clearly the situation
calls for more food albeit
sprinkled food. It’s time. I
attempt to lift the weight
of Manhattan and its Burroughs.
I lean in, but this, this forkful
of snake in the grass takes a
nosedive for my white shirt.
I’m now the victim of a hit and run
by means of marinara and floppy
Nearby tables pirouette in every
direction not mine. Burroughs
fall to the floor.
At five, I could be found at
the bottom of a kaleidoscope,
all tumble and shift, nothing
that could be saved for another
What infinite vessel is childhood!
Learning the difference between my
indoor voice and my playground voice,
the dreaded stillness and the horror
darkness. None to be saved for another
Too young to have met his famous father,
I should have said, “‘Rococo’ How I died!”
Or “‘The Smithies’ deserved those awards!”
Or at least, “Your Oscar! The first of many!”
But his eyes were so terrifically green,
his voice so deep and rich, I stood next to him
in the crowd beaming, losing sight of my
mission to get an autograph. As he walked away,
I waved to his back and said, “See ya!” as if it
was certain. As though we had years ahead of us
in which to schmooze.
I do not know you yet, but
will speak in fervent notes of flowers.
We shall call this one “forsythia wild”
so you will know me should I arrive
in your heart.
Some kind of mandolin moon,
that man. His hands become
night birds when he plays.
We each have a foot on the
accelerator. Don’t look for us.
This is our paradise, our
stretch of one-way, top down,
losing it, gone.