In Lisboa or Opatija

Now brother,

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,

and drift.

This? Now, in our olden-ing age?

Hell yes.

After the rutted road,

after the childhood drowned and burnt at the stake.

After climbing from the wreck, rising from ashes

and living

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.