Hearing From You

Saturday, June 2, 2018

I love hearing from you when I do.

This town is full of long afternoons
that grow overcast, sultry, and break
into cool evening rain. Then, black
wet streets in the darkness steam,
and the night becomes steamy,

and in the streets shine neon signs
of diners and dry cleaners. The day’s
warmth returns. Our tires hiss
through wet streets as we drive with
windows down.

                            Now I am a man
with gently whitened sideburns
and salt and pepper beard. I have
what people call a “paunch.” Now
my jokes fall slowly down—drift
quietly to the ground. “How
do you get to the bottom of Carnegie
Lake?” “Cracked ice, cracked ice,
cracked ice.” No one picks that up,

and so the day goes on, toward sultry
night, toward rain and memory.

I love hearing from you. Just know
that things have changed—and I’d say,
for the best. For the better, anyway.

• • •

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