Monday, May 11, 2020


After Lucille Clifton (sort of)

Oh antic multiplicity 
of universes, return to me 
the young man of my 
early twenties—
unkempt hair billowing 
out from underneath a 
thrift store ball cap, t-shirt 
breast pocket bulging 
with Winston Lights soft pack, 
smiling ironically at the photograph 
he never expects to see again.

All of the atoms in my body have left me
at least twice since that moment.

My hands don't remember 
what signature patterns 
his were so practiced at, 
and I can no longer recall 
what he worked such long hours for, 
who he loved 
more that he thought 
it was safe to admit, or 
which absurd counterfactuals 
he'd sit around and dream of.

I wish he was standing before me 
here, just for a moment 
so that I could hear him insist
(however noncommittally)
that none of these details 
really matter that much.