Last-Century Tells

I remember Jim Carroll serenading us with his needle
sharp poems from the bottom of Foss Hill.

I remember Spring Fling 1984.
(Or, was it 1983?)

Spotting the old observatory
crowning the top, he snarls

at our impossibly young distracted selves:
You can all go look at the fuckin’ stars.

Some loudmouth students reply:
Just wait till nightfall, Jim. Just wait.

All I catch is
fuckin’ stars.

I remember shadow echoes
and the storms they cause crashing around me

by the time I hop on the back
of the last motorcycle I will ever ride.

Racing downhill in the dark
spitting out grass, dirt, and famous feathers.

Summer 1983

Her summer
of lust. She used up more
dances on her dance card
(and drink tickets)

that season than most do
in decades. Ran out
of both years ago. Now

she can dance
and run and drink
water from outdoor fountains
all by herself.

No More Reunion

Lakes recede
to reveal
what we were thinking

before it
all began. You listened

so well, retained
everything, convinced me
to run

not always solo.
Geothermal energy

not wind power
you argued. I know nothing
about robotics, even less

about how to fathom
your mysterious exit. What

am I supposed to do
with that fact? You won’t
be returning to explain.

Wadsworth Falls, CT

Where was she
when they were giving
out licenses? Which daydream
distracted her
from motorized
vehicles? Which water

fall, where did
the trail go? Sitting beneath

one with him naked
decades ago, she didn’t
really care. Pistol
factories, textile mills, flume
or sluiceway is all that remains.
As if she could return.

Last Night the Moon Was Full

And this white shirt
with stick figure faces
wrapping around the sleeves
could only be an icebreaker
in an early morning
dream. Your mother says

I need a man’s opinion. I say,
remember the dilapidated white house
with that front porch reduced
to a stoop where your sister lived
her first year of college? That’s how
you know me—I lived there

too. And now (because it’s one
of those unfolding at civil
dawn) your mother drives us
to a farmstead you recognize. I don’t.
A few thousand miles west
of that house. You’re someone’s brother

and still
you rest your hand
over mine as if
to say it’s going to be
okay. I wake before I can
reply, how do you know.