Then I saw my wrinkles for what they are.
This is me. This is my life.
These lines trace every smile I’ve ever smiled,
every worry, every precious hour spent in the sun.
I’ve earned them.
This is who I am.
I guess the idea there
was that if I met a student,
of the Princeton Theological Seminary,
I’d see you could be that
and whatever came after
(a minister, a priest?)
and still have sex
or get married or both
and maybe she was suggesting
one of those for us,
though I doubt it now.
Wayne was friendly enough.
I’d like to know what I asked him,
since I didn’t know why
I was meeting him.
Mostly I was just in love with a girl –
and tennis and gin,
and a quarter-cut lime mixed with
There are forgotten reasons why
you didn’t do what you didn’t do,
but now you’ve only what still
never existed – Technicolor scenes
and whiskey ads, gunboats in Esquire,
the Senator before his subcommittee,
the microphone, people clinging
to his every word.
From where you watch he’s far away,
mute lips on a screen as sunlight
climbs the outer wall. Soon there’ll be
nothing left to catch it. It will unravel
in cold dark corners of space.
I’d like to be that boy
flat on the sidewalk in the sun.
He’s not wailing and his mother’s not scolding,
just patiently urging, Get up, as the boy
ponders the sky
and takes what comes as it comes.