Or if there’s much more waiting—
like Godot, and destiny—tell me.
The pundits, parents, professors
deign: “Don’t think much of the
way you curled your Qs in Mrs.
Harton’s fifth row.” Or if there’s
much to five grouty graphs on
The Invisible Man, ah then tell me
what’s so breathtaking in an MBA.
What’s littered with genius in
ironic comprehensives for an ABD?
Or any master’s master in a Ph.D.?
But I was brighter at my ABCs than
ever since, I think. Wiser, resplendent
self-esteem before adulthood pall,
son of every possibility and years
before the trenches of 30-and
-feign. I’ve crept to the inches of my
sedentary life. And oh what desperate
men I try to be, from human poverty:
Thoreau, Walden, Churchill, Luther,
even grandest traitor Tzu.
Something like a sour sick we
chase, toddlers in a make for catch-me
if-you-can. Though if I remember well,
no one lingers to catch the precious
instant of a fevered run any more;
no novice needling finds face gleaming
in front of cameras and applause.
For our smiles are already sold,
wedged in worth between our souls:
and the way along besides, and ever after:
a nighttime wash in Styx.