He loved it when she slid up
to him, as sweet as a sprinkle doughnut -
but now, something has befallen her,
she's been burned or frozen, tastes more like
cinnamon raisin; but by virtue of his
firelit face and tall tales,
he still gets invited out.
He creaks upstairs an hour late, we
are already tangled up on the
back porch, smoking, and the
liquor has made everything
an economy of scale.
He is a ray of sunshine. Tells us
all the old groaners. The big fish.
Ultimately says, "Happy birthday.
Never let your guard down."
and hobbles off, with barb-wire chafing
his heel, and the rheumatic suspicion
that "rest" and "wellness" are
the fables taught to us by
bogeymen, trying to convince us
there are no bogeymen.
I am a tender Twenty tonight.
I want to twirl my fists in Muhammad Ali speedbag-spirals,
saying, "I am the champion. Never undefended."
But I am too drunk, and maybe
God! He floats like painkillers. He stings like loss.
There he is, the tall order, the iron giant:
a two-story brainfreeze milkshake.
I shudder, a pipsqueak of a prizefighter.
The bucktoothed squirt at the icecream booth,
too short to notice that there are only three flavours.