By The Time I Got To Dublin
By the time I got to Dublin,
they swept the glass bottles from the avenue,
the cars sat sensibly across the round-about,
the clenches fists of '16, of '09
faded from view, their names echoes in
bronze statues, and white spray paint thereupon.
By the time I got to Brussels,
the city split to three blocks,
clock tower chimes counting past as
hometowns tend to, nothing more;
I came to see chaos, creation,
it was an afternoon.
By the time I got to Prague,
the iron of cross and curtain had been,
the words still about the air from
lips loosened by beer and foreign accents;
no longer the grandiose struggle, the problems
more mundane, parking next to cubist lampposts.
By the time I was home with you,
a thousand new voices had rung through
my ears and yours, we smiled
a bit less to each other than before;
it was the wisdom of aging,
knowing everything important had happened.
Letters In Boxes
I had a box of letters I'd written to old lovers,
well, I'd use that word, the closest one,
they'd never say they were, silly me,
with his huffing and puffing, night-time
flop sweat and greatly protruding gut, the very
picture of a cartoonists' handiwork, the last
thing to appear in the throes of pleasure.
The box weighed heavy, I fell for many,
they were adolescent, gushing at best,
fawning at worst, something that could only
be written from storybook rhymes and battered film,
never from an actual being, drying and serious;
it was a way of dehumanizing, making sense
of the passing time, hormonal effects.
I'd retrieve it now and then, trace fingers to
names (loss of weeping and smiles).
Some drew close back, names known
and known to me, gave a great
chuckle when we talk now;
I thought I was no good at hiding,
maybe that was wrong too.