The Boy of Ascents and Falls Is Dead

 

Aged six, 

   avoided restroom bullies,

    filled my underwear.

    Telling mother why I stank,

     she pulled out a handful 

     and forced it through my lips.

            That was a descent, but something rose to sing again.

 

Aged eight, 

    practiced Bach inventions -

   no baseball swings or kick the can.

   Told my mother other boys ran in sun.

   She removed her nylons

    and tied my ankles to the piano bench.

            That was a descent, but something rose to play again.

 

Aged twenty, 

    harbored undergrad virginity -

    lacked lust to screw sorority girls.

    Embraced a long-cherished friend,

   who penned a brief "Good luck!"

   and eloped with our hometown preacher.

            That was a descent, but something rose to love again.

 

Aged thirty-two,

    I wed for life,

not to walk the horizons alone.

      Rats came gnawing:

      said she’d been "raped, twice,"

      "by the warden of the prison," where we both worked,

       and "five months ago."

            That was a descent, but something rose to breathe again.

 

Post midlife and its crises,

       I hone a sword,

        no longer imagining every goddess to be kind.

        Nearby, a whisper: "Life and love might yet be worth a flight!"

        I tell the cold witch, wailing wild against the Night,

        "Dead is the boy of ascents and falls."

                This, too, is a descent. 

                   A descent with balls.

 

 

tk,

March 18, 1995