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A slip of a park

His name, hammered in gold,
identifies a little slip of a park
Good old “Dag Hammarskjold”
Who thinks of you now?

Sometimes when I seek
to speak with the dead,
it occurs to me that we can’t
speak with the dead

So the seer said something about a presence,
a ghost in the back of my life
“His name is Michael, do you know Michael?”
Of course, everyone knows a Michael

If it’s really you, if it’s you,
I’ve waited for you, yearned for you
for an awfully long time
She offers me love, she really does

And given the vicissitudes of life
there’s no doubt something fucked up
about someone named Michael
She had me going there for a bit though

This one has her head in her hands
in exhaustion, anguish, or both
That one closes his eyes—
so tired

The young man, Michael,
my mother’s friend, gave up drinking
liquor, he said
I wait for the lady, we’ll see how it goes

Had she picked the name Hiraldo
I might have been more impressed
Except like most of us here
I don’t know any Hiraldos

He sits there at our dining room table
and drinks beer, after beer after beer
He drinks so fast little bubbles form
on the pull-tabs of each can

The streets of Rome are chaotic,
inexplicable, crowded, unpredictable
The streets of New York make perfect sense—
a different kind of gypsy longing

What if the lady never shows?
If they see the videos
won’t future folks be shocked or amused
by our foreign gestures,

and the extravagant style of our acting?
“So Peter,” the job interviewer asked
“Why do you want to be a bank teller?”
“So Aurelius” the slave master asked

“Why do you want to be a slave?”
The world that is represented
and the world that does the representing
aren’t the same

The unforeseen hereafter, like
remembrance, is an act of creation—
In accordance with our thrills, our styles
In accordance with our now

 

 

 

-June 20, 2015-