He shouted

When a little over seven,
   he shouted into the intercom
   at the building where he lived
They could barely hear him
   through all the distortion
Something about a toothache and
   a friend who told him about a dentist and
   a purple essence that when applied to the mouth
   would cure him
These are secrets we keep even from ourselves
Jeanne used to say: “You know, I think I’ll keep
   my own counsel on that”
until Alzheimer’s chewed her brain
   with all of its secrets away
Our names are written in water
An old cousin while taking a pill
   for some kind of chronic heartburn explained:
“You’re born with it
you’ll die with it
but not of it”
I could never bring anyone into this world
   but always try to take care of those
   I care for
I think I’ll keep my own counsel…
Through all of that shouting
      through all that distortion
   please tell me again—
What kind of cure?

-August 9, 2008-