Tuesday Poem

Joe Gillon Hypnotizes his Son

For my father

When you wake up, in your fourteenth year,
I’m forty, the attrition of muscle fiber
in me will (energy cannot be, etc.) appear
in you as a new flex. You’ll write vers libre,
none of this constraint, hold what molests
you in your palm, swill whole decanters.
You’ll understand the jokes about women’s breasts
had something reverential at their centers.
A distance, thin as silver foil, will hiss
once, hover, then drop in the space between us.
Now: how I dandle you, wipe the comma of piss
where it collects at your rim, promise you’re a genus
better than I was, my cribside pace, my kiss…
You won’t remember any of this.

Albert Goldbarth
from Strong Measures
Harper Collins, 1986