Like any good hustler he knew
how to lean and lean in like a man
once I caught him falling back
had he relapsed he had I grasped
the last sparks of his centerfold smile
something abstract in me cracks
shapeless mass a buffalo lands
like something heavy very fast off-
black in the darkness a figure: Dad
From a notebook, undated:
Accident, 1963: art’s not so abstract after all.
If I look at art, it’s because it helps me imagine you
free. Unchained, torn. A little like a Rauschenberg.
Who knew inside any accident is a poem: You can watch
in slow-motion the stone cracking, the syllables breaking.
Forgive me, Father for I have sinned
It’s been six, no, nine, no nevermind
I don’t remember my last confession
I have a recurring dream
where Willie’s smell
like battered cocoa leaves
my resurrected adult body
The priest replies,
“But child, what kind of melancholic
Catholicism is this?”
I forgive the priest, but I don’t forgive Willie
not for his trespasses, his coming-and-going
as he pleases from places
nobody gets to come back
Front page image by Jessica Ann.