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spysgrandson Apr 2018
I found you, in a stack of photos:
the 2D you, I can't touch, taste or smell

the first thing that came to mind was sharing a joint with you and spilling the chocolate ice cream cone on your skin-******* shorts

and sneaking into the Woolworth bathroom, and our freaked frenzied scrubbing of fabric with nimble fingers and pink powdered hand soap

and how we couldn't stop laughing
until a woman older than time caught us
before we could consummate

which we did after running the entire
200 yards to my van, wet white shorts in your hand, with me looking over my shoulder for imagined narcs and other freedom snatchers

when we finished, we shared my last Winston, blowing smoke rings in the gathering gloom

your shorts were dry, and our high
had worn off--you didn't kiss me goodbye when I dropped you off

between your pad and mine,
I hit a black mongrel pup wandering on the dark asphalt

I scooped him off the road
with my hands; lifeless, light he was...

I found you, in that stack of ancient
photos--that was the day we conceived a son, one you had shredded in a doctor's office for $300 in illegal tender

I see the messy ice cream, your naked nineteen year old flesh,  smoke rings disappearing, the poor mutt dying

though not for lack of trying, I can't see the child you had executed in utero--without trial, judge or jury, save an elusive dream
of freedom

Albuquerque, 1967
spysgrandson Apr 2018
I had one of the first--a clunky chunk of modernity in my 1984 Beamer,

no speed dial, no contact book, and Bluetooth was as far away as the moon

but boy I was cool yapping while cruising down the PA Turnpike,
my Lab on the seat beside me, eagerly eavesdropping and slobbering in equal measure

he got to witness the end, the news delivered over the airways:
she was dumping me because I was too needy

too many flowers, too many calls and unannounced visits; affection morphed into the smothering mother it was

I exited the pike with the news lumped in my throat, looking for a place to hide

a roadside stop with a view of farmed fields--the sun too bright

I dialed her number at least thrice, but never completed the call;
the connection would have been dead or dying anyway

in the distance, I saw their carriages:
a procession with the clopping hooves of obedient beasts, the laughter of children, and monogamous men and women who didn't know the meaning of "co-dependency," "neediness," or "smothering"

and eyes that would have stared in disbelief if they saw
the ****** cell phone
spysgrandson Apr 2018
there was no power

from my Mumbai hotel I
could see the stream of people
in the narrow street below

a cart carrying the dead listed
and nearly toppled over

the ox pulling it did not stop
dragging the askew carriage along

passersby steered clear of the primitive hearse
knowing it carried the curse, the fever felling the denizens
of this muggy megapolis

a plague harvesting souls
quicker than they could be burned

the Mithi was thick with their ashes,
diluted only by tears of the mourners
who harbored fears they would be next

I was there, a helpless healer;
a doctor turned detective, running
a race to find a cause, a miracle cure

all my potions impotent,
all my staring at slides a lesson
in limitations, ignorance--a discovery
of crawling creatures too miniscule
to be dissected, too beguiling to be

my eyes were tired of looking
at the tiny death moguls and their victims
my ears weary of the entreaties for relief
from suffering

yet I stood and watched, one wagon
after another, carrying carrion for the pyres

I prayed the power would stay off,
for light would have shone on me:
a curious survivor, unworthy of whatever
grace kept me from the heaps of lifeless
limbs bound for the fires of the night
spysgrandson Mar 2018
the third day of spring, pear blossoms fall like snowflakes
then disappear in the new grass

this blanket coming green after a russet winter
during which the old man took shovel to earth
to bury her last Retriever

the runt of the litter, yet it grew strong
and outlived her by only a fortnight, after sniffing her dormant beds, lying at the foot of her lawn chair

as if the canine divined where he last saw her:

lounging in the yard, reading Dickinson under early March light,
sipping a mint tea, scratching the pet's ears;

she passed there, under the same trees, winter's survivors
not yet in bloom

though full of budding promise, unrealized, unseen, but there even as they lay her in the ground
spysgrandson Mar 2018
this polo shirt,

on a man who
never played polo, and only dreamt
of riding stallions on open prairies

will one day be on a rack at Goodwill
then on the back of a stranger, for the
price of a fast food meal

unless I decide before it's too late
to not allow it to become part of my paltry estate

and use it as a rag, to scrub scratches
from my German made ride

insults left there by anonymous walkers who came too close, or tread flung rocks
at freeway speed

this shirt, bequeathed to the belly of a bin, or sturdy enough to be worn again, will not be mine

to know its fate may be divine
or matter not one whit
spysgrandson Mar 2018
the barks of men silenced
the hunt over,

the sun driven drip of water from pines,
a petty pelting on my shoulders

a grand distraction--this season of minutes, hours
when white becomes invisible

until its ghost dots my cloak, streams down my rifle barrel
and falls again onto blood drenched ground

this patter of sound, such a docile dirge
to the slaughtered

the daybreak tracks the doe made now gone:
victim of a rising sun, a warmth she will never again know
spysgrandson Feb 2018
I found you

lone brick, of a million, one part of a mortared whole

your brothers now buried by time, without benediction  

progeny of clay, shale, you were born in a kiln as hot as all creation

dragged to this plain by spoked wheel and mule--sweat of the honest illiterate

long before the dusters blew the crops to hell, and Tom Joad's kin to the promised land

the mason who laid you in a proud straight row is now in the ground too

not a mile from you, where the county put him the hot Friday a man set foot on the moon

the bricklayer’s days with the trowel long past, his memories of you, your place in all weathers interred with him  

I found you , and you are the man’s legacy, he yours
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