Enfants Perdus




Oh, I’m sure you’ve seen him
He was a tall guy
He was right around here, somewhere.
He’s probably dead
At least, he keeps looking more like he will when he is dead

The neighbors said he had potential as a boy
It was the 50s, what else could they say,
When they knew he would not make it?

He would not make it, he wouldn’t find a perfect thing to love,
Or sail to Norway and create a stir
That’s two – of course there is a list
Somewhere, several volumes.

All that long list of time was him
Just ruminating how he could have missed it
What he should have done, how he should have held his arms
Hanging loosely at his sides, and not at the angle of torture or begging

He joined with billions, also alive,
Who had stories with asterisks,
Who were just guessing

They would never own their own home
Or say the right thing at the right time
The list plows on

The renewing bow cuts the full brown water
Or shoves it aside
They have to make way for it
The Rules of the Road forever say
Someone else has the Right of Way

Will you stroll the deck with me tonight?
I tire of talking about him
Let’s hold hands
And feel the hot flush of emerging passion
We will make love for the hundredth time
And the first – like us in orgasm,
For several stark moments he disappears

You should not cry for all those men overboard
If you do, that is all you will do
You will have time for nothing else.

As I may have mentioned earlier,
He was unusually tall
That is probably why all the people thought
He would make it,
He had so much potential
Yet for some reason he could not discern,
Like you, like me, like all of them,
He spent his life treading water.


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