next day on Paxos

March 8, 2007

That morning, sun kneading the depressions
between tiles, we sat,
still drunk, in the square

and I was not speaking
though a million thoughts left my mouth.

We’d done the fights we’d won and lost
and why we were still warriors
in our gentle ways. Mikey so much older

but a pupil I gazed through
as something gazed through me

to speak for him, soften
the cracks that shot out fast like faultlines
over his bones

and not quite into the blue bulges
of his traveller’s eyes.

My voice surprised me, looking on from the wings
as if my part had been taken for one scene
by a stronger actor, or as if an artist’s hand
were guided by a safer hand

whose brushes were words that painted
Mikey’s face bright with future.

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