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we dream in a winsome swoon

What is it
I’ll tell you what it is
my daughter turned that corner

a fantastical moonshot made flesh

and me staring like a stone
we dream in a winsome swoon;

age of the single bandaged miracle,
and every stumbling nincompoop romp
through a field of dead grass

an emerald-framed painting of Then

we gaze at the lilliput epoch
with wondrous half-smiles
did that all really happen
yes, bird-brain, it did

and it ‘happens’ yet
stop looking wildly around the room
why do you not now
scratch the wall

with a loving pictograph
of yourself reaching for the ketchup
starting the car wrong and flooding the whatnot

running embarrassedly
from little foaming dogs
let the spelunker’s lowbeam
trace the startled slate

this is the second childhood
with beards and breasts
the intoxication of a recalled moment
from its moribund oxygen-tented future

or is it just the morphine drip
and iso-tank silence of the ward
your now is incalculable. You don’t feel it
always looking back, a guy headed for a tree

today is your fever dream
seen from tomorrow
recalling through manageable tears
the gold-leaf normalcy of these turning days

the kids still at home, still kids.
their high voices and lovely needs
kid-arguments a piercing symphony
o to pick up their socks and flung notebooks

just the one more time, 8 minutes back there
would do it, Hawking make this happen
this is your past, you dingdong
spooling out

in a real time you will one day haltingly attempt to grasp
through the ping of sustaining machinery
a treasure that has fallen out of reach
but sunlight is soaking

the parks and stucco strip malls
feel the elegy this morning
drill into your stupid hardened khaki shell

remember all those graying adults
looking down from the ceiling (they were all graying!)
kindly smiles plastered, middle-aged chins
doubled with the effort of a down-tilted face

we were short but grew taller
broccoli becomes bone like mom said
and they were tousling our hair
why always the tousling

because the older ones are balding
men and women both. They want their hands
on any hair they can touch
without attorney involvement

while musing over cocktails
staring back through a lighted tube
conferring unspoken, graying temples inclined
around the vermouth

then staring down with over-eager smiles
which to us looked merely patronizing
oh these kids these kids
are they gonna be surprised.

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