I called a man today. After he said
hello and I said hello came a pause
during which it would have been
confusing to say hello again so I said
My left hand will live longer than my right. The rivers
of my palms tell me so.
Never argue with rivers. Never expect your lives to finish
at the same time. I think
Who cleaned up the Last Supper?
These would be my people.
Maybe hung over, wanting
desperately a better job,
A few hours after Des Moines
the toilet overflowed.
This wasn't the adventure it sounds.
I sat with a man whose tattoos
At forty-eight, to be given water,
which is most of the world, given life
in water, which is most of me, given ease,
which is most of what I lack, here, where walls
I heard from people after the shootings. People
I knew well or barely or not at all. Largely
the same message: how horrible it was, how little
there was to say about how horrible it was.
My father's head has become a mystery to him.
We finally have something in common.
When he moves his head his eyes
get big as roses filled
Drunk, I kissed the moon
where it stretched on the floor.
I'd removed happiness from a green bottle,
both sipped and gulped
Our fathers have formed a poetry workshop.
They sit in a circle of disappointment over our fastballs
and wives. We thought they didn't read our stuff,
whole anthologies of poems that begin, My father never,