Like Father, Like Son

Down the lines
to slow
estrangement… till
I’d move into
a one-room apartment
close to work
and closer to travel, with
barely a window, hardly a view and
seldom have it mopped, but
have those shirts
dry-cleaned and routinely pressed,
reread escaping books,
revisit reruns and
stranger passing screens among
the angles.. each
wall makes
with the same ceiling.. and
in time, get restless and visit
a whore
or two – which
I’m not sure you
did, but
only get lonelier… to turn
to the reeds, needles and white;
then quit the drugs,
then give up whisky,
then stop smoking and
try
starving
from time
to time to test
how much I can take, though
I doubt I’d be able to do it
as well
as you did.

    
No saints
you and I, but
each of us
belonged… to
a woman, whom
we mistreated
in our different ways, as
they did
in theirs, and
it seemed
that everyone learned
to live
by themselves, though
it’s us – you
and I, who couldn’t
or can’t
care or smile
as much
for ourselves
at
all.

 

From Book IV

Where the Two of Them Watched Late-Night Movies, While I Fell Asleep

It came
late last night:
a vision
of perhaps… the safest of places
from those early, freer years that
then dried up
and hardened as burnt-brown earth..
to something
long-suspended, poorly preserved and
somehow… I felt it
observe me intently,
in
the saddest of ways…
before crumbling altogether
into the dirt.

 

 

From Book IV