Fear, of course, your dreams
of driving over kids walking
in black at night on the shoulders
of roads. That’s why you inspect
the front end of your little car
every morning for crumpled fenders,
blood and hair, or sniff outside
your neighbors’ doors for
decomposition after dismemberment,
though the edge on your dad’s machete
dulls in the dark
of a closet back in Philly.
But also how you wax me
in gin, remember every card
I’ve’ ever discarded.
And though born just twenty-
seven years ago, you know
all the boomer R&R,
the way Dustin Hoffman in
The Rain Man knows the names
of every horse that ever won a race.
Up all night, wine bottle drained
and dropped, you weep
for the AIDS orphans on TV.
May you never stop writing
poems, or drinking too much, or
sixty-year-old orphan who needs
your aid, placer in the last race
at Hialeah: Junior out of
Atlanta, three lengths
behind the filly Rain Girl.