He was a big fan of mine
and died, so I permitted
myself to go to bed at 8:05.
8:05 was a good bedtime
for me not so long ago, it seems. So
said my bones and clinked each other.
My bones are unlike most
in their suspension in jammy stuff
their movement and sometimes touching by chance
And in my head the control center
it’s a puffy bloody water wheel and no brain
And my appendix on the left side or whatever
And my wig is able to grow.
He saw all these things and thought more
of me and died.
Can those who will outlive me
come forward and help me
with this cold sunny day – this idiotic yellow day –
Help me confront the sunny winter day –
Help me to not close my eyes in it –
Help to keep memories apart from dreams in it –
Help me give the wild dead a nice place to live in it,
things to do, the feeling of being needed in it.
How do I face the whole rest of my life
when it’s taken me so long just to find this boiled egg?
[holds up boiled egg]
In the sumptuous Italian countryside
I climbed up on a tree stump and basked
in the present moment – whatever moment
was the present moment at the time –
until my family came
and pulled me down
and sent me back to school…
[turns away, as if toward Europe]
Shhh, now I’m remembering a prayer I used to say
I wished peace for myself
my best friend
& an enemy –
I prayed it in college
the stranger always
the same blond boy I’d seen.
In the garden once with my father,
I watched him pick a perfect tomato.
If I were a tomato, he said,
That’s what I would look like.
Has it been four years? I ask an old friend at dinner.
It has been two. My friend, it feels like two times two.
[spits ice cubes onto the table]
so we showed them Bavarian architecture
so we posed them in musty gowns
so we slid them down shiny pews
so we made their lives more difficult
so we opened all their little pots of creams
so we took their hands and looked into their eyes
so we made them masters of their own destinies
so we cast balletic shadows over their experiences
so pale blossoms fell in front of our faces
so we put our socked feet in their laps
so we let things take their natural course
so we pointed insistently to the sunset
so we drove away quickly in buggies
so we touched them with wet bikinis
so we drew ab muscles on them
so we heard them whisper something
so we gave them cruelly small crowns