you sunny-hearted fellow,
we will go to Lisbon.
You to ramble out early
on cobblestones, to
meet salty mates from God Knows,
knock back espresso; um bica, o dois, o três, and
lie about women and laugh.
Me to write, in earnest,
in a high-ceilinged room,
ponder tiles the colors of make-believe seas,
This? Now, in our olden-ing age?
After the rutted road,
after the childhood drowned and burnt at the stake.
After climbing from the wreck, rising from ashes
and giving it all
our damned best shot
don’t we deserve to slow to a Proustian pace,
or so-slow fado
And let’s have jacaranda and a cat
called Mozart and one called Carlos Santana
stretching, or bee stalking on a terrace.
Then friends to spar like jays round our table.
Nieces with babies and partners and pals
popping in to grin, raise-browed, as we retell
our legends, outlandish, or even the least bit wise —
how we did this-and-such way back when,
or knew someone who did.
Then, stealing our books,
nieces and babies and partners and pals
pop out again.
It could be Lisbon, or maybe Opatija.
The third age is upon us
You sunny-hearted brother of mine.
Why not, why not? Codfish and wine, new tongues,
New rhymes, new sights for our, still-thirsty eyes.
RRC 2017 for my brother Don.