Saturday, December 8, 2012

disco ball recollections

I don’t like thinking of all that I will miss—the dance, as silly as it might be, with balloons bobbing, skimming the ceiling then dropping a moment before rising up again; and the streamers, plastic and shiny, stretching your face into a fish-like reflection; and the brownies too sweet, and too crispy-edged; the punch, never enough, as if you were meant to find its bowl, each time, empty, with only a warm slurp of liquid left. And the music, every song snapped from the top 40, the songs too familiar and too ordinary to inspire a certain rhythm to steal your feet and sway you into motion. But then, of course, there would be you. I envision how you might look. The image cuts quiet slivers from my heart and throws them into the wind. I want to find you, as clich├ęd as this sounds, bathed in the webby blue of those disco lights you hate, all the other dancers, crazy and sloppy and orbiting around, and you in the middle: that thin prick of light that gets me going through it all, that makes me whimper with a long-forgotten ease.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

To Ricky

To Ricky

You were thirteen-
And pulling past the library shelves.
The image unfolds, warm and precise,
of your round face
pale like the opal-moon
or an onion. And how chubby
your cheeks were, then.

Now, somewhere,
with a wife and children. I imagine
you slow-unraveling for work
when the sky feels dusty.
You might hurry
to conquer breakfast in the car:
an apple,
a moist smudge of banana.

There are some moments
that feel like the loose ends
of dreams: That library afternoon,
do you not remember?
As you drifted past,
a hot clip of sun
sifted through the open window
and illuminated your edges, so
like a delicate plink of light,
you hummed alive.

Meanwhile, I sat at a table
on the opposite side,
quivering wild with worries
that I can no longer
even remember.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

One morning my grandfather...

One morning my grandfather ate so much that his chair disappeared. It was a Sunday at the Pancake House, and my grandfather sat across from me with his fat pink cheeks quivering through speech. All the while I knew he was only thinking of eating and eating and eating. Breakfast finally arrived, and the waiter set before my grandfather eight sausages, thicker than his fingers and slippery with grease, and four crinkly twists of bacon, crunchy-edged and chewy with fat. Then there were four eggs, scrambled and glittery with salt, and two brick-slabs of toast, thick and soft with butter. My grandfather ate all of this and then, in between bites and in between gulps, he often found, mysteriously, a pancake-plunk on the left side of his plate. A sailing strawberry even managed to find his mouth, along with three gulps of chocolate milk. And so, by the end of the meal my grandfather had devoured so much food that he could no longer stand up. No, the chair had melded into his bottom like gum into its wrapper when you leave it on the dashboard of your car during a warm day. He left us with no choice, then, but to steal the restaurant chair.